Massar fulfills childhood dream
Kathryn Massar lived out a childhood dream Wednesday when she threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium.
The Yuba City woman, credited with being the first girl ever to play Little League baseball, is just not too happy with the throw.
“I one-bounced it to Posada,” said Massar, referring to Yankee catcher Jorge Posada, who then delivered the ball back to Massar and gave her a hug.
Between that, running into Derek Jeter in the walkway to the locker rooms and watching the game in box seats behind home plate, it was quite the night.
“It's so beautiful in here. I can't believe they want to build a new stadium,” said Massar, who despite growing up in Corning, N.Y. and being a lifetime fan of the Yankees, made her first trip into the most celebrated ballpark in all of baseball.
The trip was made possible by Bank of America.
Rick Maya, the president of the Northern California region for the bank, saw Massar on a Sacramento news program and got the wheels turning.
That was in June.
And despite the leverage the bank has as a national sponsor for Major League Baseball and a corporate sponsor with the Yankees, it still took more than two months to arrange.
“We got a call (from the Yankees last) Thursday. They said, ‘we got two dates: the 26th or the 27th.' So we had to hurry,” said Eric Stanion, who was put in charge of the arrangements.
American Airlines stepped up to help get them on a plane on short notice, and the rest became the latest party frill for Massar, who as a 12-year-old in 1950, dressed up as a boy and earned a spot on the local Little League team.
Over the last six years, Massar has been the subject of countless news stories, appeared on a TV quiz show and will be the subject of a Disney film scheduled tentatively to be released next summer.
In fact, Disney got involved in this latest trip as well, surprising Massar by flying in her twin sister, Mary Burr of St. Louis, for a five-star dinner Tuesday night.
“It was a total surprise,” Massar said.