Players with Braintree's Little League Challenger Division, a baseball program for children across the South Shore with disabilities, had the field at Fenway Park to themselves on Wednesday, posing for photos in front of the Green Monster, taking batting practice at home plate and eating lunch inside the third base dugout.
The visit was part of the eighth season of All Kids Can Baseball Camps, a partnership between the Boston Red Sox and CVS Caremark. It was also the first time that a Red Sox player joined the kids on the field. Infielder Mike Aviles signed autographs, and, along with hitting coach Dave Magadan, helped out with batting practice.
"This is such a thrilling opportunity for the players!" Challenger Division Director Kathy Jordan said in a statement. "They all love the game of baseball and are tremendously excited to bring their skills to Fenway Park..."
The kids also went on a tour of the ballpark and received a gift bag. Later in the day, another group of Challenger players returned to Fenway to watch the Red Sox hit batting practice from the field and see Boston take on Miami.
Players come from all over the South Shore to play in the Challenger League in Braintree, from towns including Abington, Hanson, Hanover, Hull, Milton, Stoughton and Weymouth. Wednesday's camp was one of nine scheduled at Fenway this season as part of CVS Caremark's All Kids Can program.
"Seeing these kids interact with Coach Magadan and the expression on their faces as they connect with the ball makes it worthwhile," said Eileen Howard Boone, a senior vice president with CVS Caremark.
The Challenger Division was created in 1989 for boys and girls with physical and/or developmental disabilities from ages 5 to 18. Today the division includes 138 players on 10 teams. Players participated in a drawing to determine who could attend the Fenway camp.