International Students Celebrate with Red Sox

Peter Podprocky, Olha Stasyshyn, Dhruv Sood, Mingying Zhu, and Cody Moskovitz


Before coming to Massachusetts, the only Major League Baseball team Peter Podprocky had heard of in his native Slovakia was the New York Yankees.

Now the Suffolk University senior is a die-hard Red Sox fan.

“I became a fan the first day,’’ Podprocky said. “You cannot be a Yankees fan here.”

Podprocky, who’s studying international affairs in his final year at Suffolk, is one of five Suffolk students tapped to represent their countries in the Boston Red Sox Parade of Nations before the home opener Tuesday at Fenway Park.

International play expanded beyond North America for the Sox this year, with the team’s first two regular-season games played in Japan. That international flavor will continue on opening day at Fenway, when the five Suffolk students – from Slovakia, Ukraine, China, India and Canada -- will be among representatives of the many countries taking part in the pre-game ceremonies. Students said they felt honored to represent their countries, as well as Suffolk University.

Sox key to Boston culture

Olha Stasyshyn, a Suffolk senior from Ukraine, had never heard of the Red Sox before coming to the United States almost five years ago.

“But here it’s so big, so you have to know,” she said. “You kind of have to follow (the Sox) to be a part of the community.”

Stasyshyn didn’t know what to expect from an American baseball game last week, except she’d be marching “under the Green Dragon.”

The "Green Dragon"

She gave a huge laugh when she was reminded the famous left-field wall is actually called “The Green Monster.”

Like some of the other Suffolk students participating at Fenway, she’s looking forward to watching her first Red Sox game in person.

“To be frank, I don’t know much about baseball or the rules of baseball,” said Mingying Zhu, a graduate student from Hangzhou, China, who’s studying higher education and administration at Suffolk. “But I’m very excited.”

Cody Moskovitz, by contrast, does know a thing or two about baseball. Moskovitz, from just outside Toronto, Canada, plays for the Suffolk baseball team.    

Historic opportunity

When he heard about the opportunity to take part in Fenway opening ceremonies Moskovitz jumped at it.   “I was ecstatic,” he said. “To be part of the festivities, to be on the field. To be a part of history, and raising the banner, it’s an especially important day. It’s also important to represent Suffolk and show well.”

The Suffolk students will march around the Fenway Park warning track, carrying the flags of their respective countries. They’re expected to be on the field during the unfurling of the Red Sox World Series Championship banner as well as during ring ceremonies. 

“I’ve only been in this country for about nine months, so I don’t know much about baseball. But once the Red Sox won the World Series last year and I saw the rally and the following they have, I wanted to go to a game," said Dhruv Sood, of Punjab, India.  

"But to go as representative of Suffolk and my own country and be in the middle of the field, it’s a lot better than just going to a game.”



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