A few days ago, I encountered one of my readers on my way home from work. “Khari”, he said, “I’ve been checking your blog, it looks like it died”. I was shocked. I knew that I hadnt posted nearly as much as I should’ve over the past year, but I never thought of my blog as being “dead”. “Has it really been that long?”, I asked myself. When I went home and logged onto WordPress, I got my answer. The last time I posted was over eleven months ago. It has been way too long! Over those eleven months, I have kept pretty busy. I finished high school. I traveled the nation visiting colleges, before choosing to attend Hampton University, where I will major in Journalism. I was also named the 2013 Youth of the Year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. In addition to fulfilling speaking engagements and attending board meetings, I was able to do the coolest thing a Boston kid could ever dream of through the Youth of the Year program. On April 10th, 2013 I threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park before the Boston Red Sox played the Baltimore Orioles. I suppose I brought the Sox a little bit of bad luck, seeing as that night marked the end of their decade long sellout streak. According to ESPN.com, the streak was the longest in major pro sports history. On my way into the park, a reporter for the Boston Globe picked me out of the crowd and asked me what I thought about the sellout streak ending. After letting him know that I would be throwing out the first pitch in a couple minutes and giving a shout out to my Boys and Girls Club (Yawkey Club of Roxbury), I said “I think its pretty crazy, We’ve been sold out for like half of my life. Im 18, so I think its pretty wild” After my interview, my Keystone Club and I were escorted to a room inside the park that I had never seen before. Once there, we were greeted by Red Sox security and ballgirls who briefed me on the way the ceremony was planned. By then, my adrenaline was running so high that every word they said was lost, except for two sentences from a ballgirl: “After they read your bio I’ll come get you and bring you out onto the field. Then, when the PA announcer says ‘all right Khari lets see a pitch’ go for it”. Soon after, we were escorted onto the field and we posed along the first base line for pictures with Wally the Green Monster. Then, right after the National Anthem came the words I had been waiting my whole life to hear. “Ladies and Gentlemen”, boomed the PA announcer “It’s time for the ceremonial first pitch. We welcome a native of Jamaica Plain, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston’s Youth of the Year, Khari Thompson to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.” Thats when it hit me. The PA guy called my name, not Ortiz, or Pedroia, or Ellsbury, but Thompson. This was my moment, and I couldnt help but crack an enormous grin as I waved to the crowd. The ballgirl came and brought me out to the mound. Then, she squatted behind home plate and waited for the pitch. As I stood on the mound, proudly wearing my Red Sox jersey I wanted more than anything to fire a fastball right down the middle. But luckily, I had enough sense to play it safe. I wound up and lobbed it over the plate. The ballgirl caught it on the fly, although she did have to come out of her stance for it because it was a little high. I tipped my hat to the cheering crowd and jogged off the field. I hopped over the first base line to make sure i didnt step on it. Wally the Green Monster came over to high-five me. Then, they brought my Keystone Club and I over to right field where we got to say “Play Ball!”. Then we went up to out seats in the right field grandstand and proceeded to watch the Sox lose 8-5 to the Orioles. So, clearly it’s been a while since I’ve posted on Big Chief’s Sports Blog. I did some pretty cool stuff during my yearlong hiatus, but I am ready to get back to posting regularly. Big Chief’s Sports Blog is back, better than ever, with new posts and a new look. So, dear readers, stay safe, stay cool, and most importantly stay tuned! P.S. You can watch the video of me throwing out the first pitch here: IMG_0532.