BOSTON, Mass. - Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey alumni Danny Divis '17 and Justin McKenzie '17 threw ceremonial first pitches at Fenway Park on Saturday evening before the homestanding Boston Red Sox took on the Chicago White Sox. The duo was also interviewed by New England Sports Network (NESN) reporter Jahmai Webster for a tape-delayed pregame interview on NESN, which carried the game live.
Co-winners of the 2017 Hockey Humanitarian Award and co-creators of mental health awareness campaign Hope Happens Here (HHH), Divis and McKenzie delivered the ceremonial pitches on Vermont Day at the historic ballpark just minutes before game time. Every year, the Red Sox honor each of the six New England states with their own themed night at Fenway, which has been in operation since 1912. In conjunction with the event, Divis and McKenzie were both presented with Red Sox jerseys that featured their last names sewn on the back. Both wore the jerseys while delivering their pitches.
As juniors in 2015-16, the duo co-founded HHH, a campus organization which they tout on their social media channels as a movement dedicated to "removing the stigma of mental health issues on college campuses." They continued to spread their message this past school year, adding members while holding awareness events at sporting events such as basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer, and raising thousands of dollars for one of their favorite charities, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA). Divis and McKenzie were lauded with the Hockey Humanitarian Award on April 7, becoming the annual accolade's first co-recipients.
A Saint Michael's student-athlete had last thrown the first pitch at Fenway Park on May 5, 1999, when members of the 1999 NCAA Division II Tournament championship men's ice hockey team were on hand prior to the Red Sox taking on the Texas Rangers. Chris Davidson '99, a captain of the only national champion squad in College history, tossed the first pitch. That ball and a Red Sox jacket signed by shortstop Nomar Garciaparra - who homered during the game - are still on display in the Purple Knights' trophy case in the Ross Sports Center lobby.