"It's amazing," exclaimed Andrew Madden, a 13-year-old Odessa, Texas, native who emerged from the walkway outside the Red Sox clubhouse yesterday afternoon and saw Fenway Park in person for the first time. "The Green Monster is awesome."
So was his entire day. The youngster threw out the first pitch last night before Game 2 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. Former Sox right fielder Dwight Evans escorted him.
Madden is a heart transplant recipient who fell in love with the Red Sox during the 2004 playoffs and has been a fan since. He and his surgeon, Kristine Guleserian, a Boston native, created a bond while Madden waited for a new heart. They followed the '07 Red Sox closely, and Guleserian promised Madden that she would bring him to a game at Fenway if the team made the postseason.
After hearing the story, Larry Lucchino, Sox president and chief executive officer, and his wife, Stacey, invited Madden, Guleserian, and their families to Boston.
Madden received his heart transplant Sept. 30 at Children's Medical Center in Dallas. He'd been admitted to the hospital with heart failure in August, when it was determined he had an enlarged heart.
On a visit to Fenway, Guleserian bought Madden a cap and attached a note that said: "Here's a little something for good luck. The best is yet to come." Madden became so attached to the cap he wore it into surgery.
Guleserian said that during his treatment, Madden would want to talk about the Red Sox before discussing his health issues.
Madden and his mother, Lauri Wemmer, must travel with an oxygen tank and a defibrillator. The Texas Rangers donated $15,000 in fuel for the jet that transported Madden and his entourage to Boston. They watched the game from the Lucchino suite.