Red Sox Director of Public Relations Glenn Geffner and radio announcer for the Red Sox Joe Castiglione joined Professor of English Curt Smith in presenting “Red Sox Nation” on Feb. 7.
“We are really excited to be here,” Castiglione said. “It’s amazing seeing how many fans there are here in New York. Everyone was having a really good time.”
Castiglione and Smith signed autographs for the Rochester community and students in Wilson Commons and then presented the western New York premiere of the 2004 World Series Highlights Film in Hubbell Auditorium.
The event was sponsored by the Office of Special Programs and the Department of Athletics and Recreation.
“We have had well over 500 people stop by in Wilson Commons today,” Dean of the Office of Special Programs Jan Jacobson said. “We are really excited to be able to host something like this that is able to unite the community. People seem to be having a lot of fun and are enjoying the game replays and the food.”
Throughout the day in Wilson Commons, footage from previous World Series games was played on four televisions to excite fans.
Ballpark style food, including hot dogs, popcorn and root beer floats was served, as well, at the event.
“We wanted to have this event to honor the World Series champions,” Public Relations Coordinator for the Office of Special Programs Nadine Krimow said. “Spring training starts tomorrow and what better way to celebrate? Curt Smith [helped] us coordinate this.”
A silent auction was held to benefit the Jimmy Fund, the official Red Sox charity dedicated to fighting childhood cancer.
“The Jimmy Fund is a great charity,” Geffner said. “We once had a child there whose dream was to see the Red Sox play in Camden Yards. This child passed away before he had a chance to go see them, so each year we take a trip in his honor. We bring about
thirty kids to Baltimore to meet the players.
Seeing the expression on their faces is amazing,” Geffner said.
Popular items including basebal ls signed by David Ortiz and Keith Foulke, and a hat signed by Bill Mueller. Red Sox tickets and more were auctioned.
“We raised about $5,000 Director of the Office of Special Programs Gayle Jagel said. “It was great to see that not only were people willing to come out and support the Red Sox, but they also wanted to support the Jimmy Fund.”
Red Sox fans of all ages showed up in uniforms to show their support. “I love David Ortiz,” 5 year-old Anna Leva said. Leva came with her father, sister and brother.
Richard DeFiore, of Greece, was also in attendance wearing his Yankees jacket, Yankees necklace and Yankees t-shirt. “I am a baseball fan,” he said. “I am happy for the Red Sox. After 86 years, they deserved this. I also came to get Castiglione’s autograph.”
At 6 p.m. a line formed to have Castiglione sign his book, Broadcast Rites and Sites, and Smith sign his book – What Baseball Means to Me.
“I am first in line [to have my copy of their books signed],” graduate student Scott Morgan said. “This is really awesome. I never imagined that the school would do anything like this.”
After the book signing, Castiglione and Geffner hosted a question and answer session in Hubbell before unveiling the World Series Highlights Film for the first time in Western New York.
“We want to bring the World Series celebration everywhere we can,” Geffner said. “We are bringing the [World Series] trophy to all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.”
The auditorium was filled to capacity with Red Sox fans and baseball fans alike. Smith hosted a question and answer session with Geffner and Castiglione, asking them questions about the players and the franchise. Then the floor was opened up for questions from the audience.
“A little girl asked if the Curse of the Bambino was real,” Jagel said. “Everyone just started laughing.”
Clips of the World Series were then played. Each clip was approximately five minutes long. Geffner and Castiglione analyzed each one.
“When they started showing the clips from the series, the crowd just went crazy,” Jagel said. “It was like being in a bar or at the game watching it live. When they showed the clip where the Sox finally won people just roared.”
“This is the first time we have done something like this and we weren’t sure if it would be well received,” she said. “I have already received many calls and e-mails from members of the community and from students thanking us for hosting this. It was wonderful to put together – this has really been just great.”
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