It was a historic first for Major League Baseball (MLB) on August 8th, 2023. Boston’s beloved MLB team, Red Sox honored India on the field that night and held pregame festivities to celebrate Indian American culture. This was the first time in the history of MLB that they recognized an Indian American organization and honored the community’s contributions to the larger society. Red Sox partnered with India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB) to make these celebrations a success and a truly memorable event. A special jersey was designed with the help of IAGB to mark the day and everyone who got to wear it is delighted to have it.
IAGB has played a premier role in bringing together the Indian Americans in the Greater Boston area, Massachusetts and New Hampshire for the past 60 years. The community has made its mark in all the walks of the life including science, technology, medicine, business, law, and politics. The Boston story is not complete without the characters from its Indian American community. However, celebration at the Fenway highlights the assimilation of the community into the larger American culture and society.
For the pregame festivities, IAGB brought in traditional and contemporary cultural performers presenting various flavors of the Indian American life. ‘Boston Vaadya Kala Sangam’ presented Panchari Melam and ‘New England Marathi Mandal’ presented Dhol Tasha. Boston’s very own DFD Academy artists presented dazzling Bollywood dance performance. And IAGB team itself made all present participate in the dance by leading a flash mob.
On the field, IAGB team led by President Vaishali Gade accepted the public recognition by the Red Sox and a spontaneous applause by everyone in the stadium. Red Sox also invited and honored their team members of Indian American origin. IAGB invited Keerthana Sudarshan from Berklee College of Music sing the national anthem at the start of the game. And IAGB was immensely proud to have the first pitch thrown by Pooja Ika, the youngest woman to launch a Medicare Advantage Health plan in the United States. Pooja is the founder and CEO of EternalHealth, a health insurance company based in Massachusetts.
Hundreds of Indian American community members were present along with the audience to enjoy these festivities and of course, the thrilling game between Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals. The next big moment for the community is going to be August 15th, 2023 when Boston City Hall will be raising Indian tricolor on its premises to honor and celebrate the Indian American community’s presence. IAGB will hold a grand celebration ‘India Day’ at the Hatch Memorial Shell on August 19th, 2023 where thousands of people are expected to attend.