Tuesday, April 7, 2009

San Francisco Giants 2009 Ceremonial Opening Pitch

Hero pilot Captain Chesley B. 'Sully' Sullenberger 111 has thrown the ceremonial pitch for the San Francisco Giants before over 40,000 fans to mark the much-anticipated opening of the 2009 season.

Despite fears about the heavy rain earlier today the skies cleared before midday, the sun shone thinly through the rainclouds and fans poured into the stadium at China Basin for one of their great celebrations of the year.

For the opening ceremonial pitch, Captain Sullenberger wore a special Jersey the Giants had had printed for him, one with his name and the number 155 on the back, to commemorate the number of lives he saved when with outstanding skill he brought his plane safely down on the chill waters of the Hudson River in January.

Captain Sullenberger is aged 57 and from Danville, across the Bay. A former U.S. Air Force F-4 fighter pilot, he was flying Flight 1549 for US Airways when he experienced a double bird strike on take off, crippling both engines.

'We welcome a true American hero,' said the Giants announcer in her introduction.

And then it was left, at about 1.30 pm, to Captain Sullenberger to stride confidently out across the sodden turf, ready himself, take aim, throw the pitch to great applause. He returned to the sidelines as one of an illustrious elite to open baseball games around the country this week.

Yesterday saw former President George W. Bush throw for the Texas Rangers in Arlington and Vice President Joe Biden pitch for the Baltimore Orioles, in place of President Barack Obama who is in the Middle East. Today Senator Ted Kennedy was on the field for the Boston Red Sox.

After Captain Sullenberger's pitch he was escorted away surrounded by the media.

The 2009 season of the San Francisco Giants is truly underway!

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