SAN DIEGO – Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) were honored at Petco Park, home field of the San Diego Padres, during the park’s Theodore Roosevelt Day April 24.
Sailors participated in various pre-game events such as the ceremonial first pitch, joining the starting nine on the field, reenlistments, lining the bases and performing the national anthem prior to the Padres taking on the St. Louis Cardinals.
Capt. Craig Clapperton, Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer, personally reenlisted six Sailors on the field behind home plate, a unique opportunity for Sailors who have chosen to continue their naval career.
“Reenlisting Sailors is one of the best parts of my job,” Clapperton said. “I admire and appreciate the choice these young men and women make to continue to serve our nation, and it’s a great opportunity to show a stadium filled with our neighbors how important and special that choice is.”
Approximately 35 Sailors took the field and lined the bases as the crowd erupted in a chorus of cheers and remained standing as Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Grace Layugan performed the national anthem.
“HM3 Layugan did an outstanding job singing our national anthem,” said Clapperton. “It was a wonderful opportunity for some of our best and most talented Sailors to represent our Navy and their community. So many of our Sailors have hidden talents that are rarely seen on board, and even after all the time I have been in the Navy, I am still amazed at just how gifted many of these fantastic young men and women are. I am sure it was a moment she will carry with her for the rest of her life.”
A traditional mainstay in baseball is the ceremonial first pitch thrown by an individual recognized prior to the actual game itself. Electrician’s Mate (Nuclear) 1st Class Alexander Bryans, Reactor Electrical Division’s Leading Petty Officer, was selected by the command to throw the first pitch.
Theodore Roosevelt Sailors continued to be honored with nine crewmembers taking the field alongside the Padres’ starting nine, taking their places at all bases as well as infield and outfield locations. Immediately thereafter, continuing the ceremonial festivities recognizing the Roosevelt’s Sailors, Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Jasmine Richards rang the ceremonial bell signifying the start of the game.
During the seventh inning stretch, before the crowd sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jessica Bourque preformed “God Bless America.”
It was a close game throughout most of the match up and was tied five to five at the end of the 7th inning stretch. However, the Cardinals three runs in the 8th inning left the game as a hard-fought loss for the Padres.
“It was a great privilege to be a part of this momentous day with our Sailors at Petco Park,” said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, Commander Carrier Strike Group Nine. “We thank the city of San Diego and the Padres’ organization for giving the USS Theodore Roosevelt team such a warm and memorable welcome to her new homeport city. We were deeply honored to have our command recognized in such a grand fashion and greatly appreciate the opportunity for so many of our Sailors to take part in this day.”
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chase C. Lacombe, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs
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