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"Spaceball" to Touch Down at All-Star Game July 29 at Fenway Park

"Spaceball" to Touch Down at All-Star Game July 29 at Fenway Park

By: Joe Sherman
"Spaceball" with crew from Endeavour
07/22/2011 11:56 AM -       Frank Thomas hit some monster home runs during his single Cape League season in 1988; so did Mark Teixeira 11 years later. But none of the gargantuan blasts that left the bats of these two legendary Orleans sluggers can match the Cape League long ball that soared skyward on May 16 and didn't return to Earth until June 1.

      Nicknamed the "Spaceball," it was on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its final mission to the International Space Station. All told, it covered 6.5 million miles while orbiting the Earth 248 times -- the ultimate home run!

      After a brief period on public display at the Cape League Hall of Fame & Museum in Hyannis, the ball will be transported to Boston, where it will play a prominent role in the pre-game ceremonies of the Jordan's Furniture Cape League All-Star Game at Fenway Park on July 29.
NASA Certificate of Authenticity from STS-134

      It will be briefly back in NASA's possession as astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman visits Fenway to represent NASA and Endeavour's commander, Mark Kelly, who personally carried the ball into space.

      This year's game is being dedicated to the memory of Christina-Taylor Green (view the ESPN Video tribute), the 9-year-old daughter of Los Angeles Dodgers scout John Green and his wife Roxanna and the granddaughter of former big league manager Dallas Green, whose11-year-old namesake, Christina's brother, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

In Christina's honor, all uniformed personnel -- managers, coaches, players and umpires -- will have special commemorative patches affixed to their shirts and those attending the game will have an opportunity to purchase one of the colorful patches and in so doing contribute to a memorial fund established in Christina's name in her Arizona home town.

      As usual, the game will be preceded by a Home Run Hitting Contest featuring the Cape League's top long ball hitters. Players from the East and West squads will sign autographs for fans and Cape Cod's favorite songbird, "American Idol" finalist Siobhan Magnus, will sing the Star Spangled Banner.

      Also on hand will be two of the league's legendary pitchers, Paul Mitchell (Falmouth, 1969-1971) and Joe Jabar (Yarmouth, 1965; Chatham, 1966 & 1967) who will serve as honorary captains for the West and East teams, respectively. Both men are Cape League Hall of Famers and two-time winners of the league's Outstanding Pitcher Award. Jabar has an All-Star Game win on his record and Mitchell is the only pitcher in league history to have won two All-Star Games.

      Tickets are still available at every Cape League ball park, priced at $10 each. On game day, the cost will be $12 at the gate. All seats are general admission.