For more than one generation of Red Sox fans, there's no dream more thrilling than catching a few moments with legendary ace Pedro Martinez. In their eyes, the pitcher owns Fenway Park in a way even John Henry never could, and on Saturday, at a special charity event Martinez is putting on at the storied ballpark, Sox supporters will have their opportunity to rub elbow-to-gifted-elbow with Pedro to share a meal in support of a cause near to the heart of the Dominican Hall of Famer.
At Feast with 45, guests will join Pedro and wife Carolina and their friends in the local sports and restaurant communities to socialize at Fenway while dining on plates prepared by some of Boston's most distinguished chefs. All event proceeds will go to the Pedro Martinez Charity, which supports underprivileged children and families in Pedro's native Dominican Republic.
"It's like me going to dinner with 40,000 people!" Martinez says. After years of being deified on the mound, he is eager to connect with the crowds that cheered him to victory so many times. "It is actually the first time ever that I have the opportunity to kind of interact with my fans," he says, "as a regular human being, away from the uniform."
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Martinez cooked up the food-centric event with the help of award-winning Colonnade Hotel chef Nicholas Calias, alongside whom the three-time Cy Young Award-winner says he has dined at nearly every restaurant in the city. After observing the causal chemistry Pedro enjoys with his loyalists when the two go out, Calias pitched the idea of a big shared meal with fans. Now he and over 30 other chefs will craft a menu for Pedro and the public to nosh off while mingling, taking pictures and supporting the community that Boston owes for raising one of its most revered sports heroes.
With Carolina serving as executive director, the Pedro Martinez Charity helps hundreds of children and families in the Dominican get the aid they need. And while Pedro jokingly notices modern Fenway crowds are not quite so raucous as they were in his heyday ("I see more of a polite group of people," he quips), he is hopeful that those who supported him in the past will now join in supporting his efforts back home.
Saturday promises a sea of friendly faces at Fenway, but when asked if any vanquished former Yankee rivals might be in attendance, Pedro was quick to deal some high cheese he knew would strike Sox fans with long memories. "Karim Garcia did not get an invitation on time," Pedro cheekily says of the onetime New York reserve outfielder who dared to challenge the pitcher's character. "But you know what, he will be welcome if he comes up! Any Yankee is welcome -- I'm not responsible for what happens with my Boston fans, though. I cannot supply security. But they're welcome to come!"
If you go:
May 6, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m., Fenway Park, $35–$500. feastwith45.eventbrite.com.