Covering California Freemasonry

Juuust a bit Outside

When Masons toss a ceremonial first pitch, watch out.

By Ian A. Stewart

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It’s Masons4Mitts season, which means it’s time for lodge members to uncork some errant fastballs at Major League ballparks.

“Just don’t bounce it,” advises Freddie Davis, of Round Table Lodge No. 876, recalling the tip he got before throwing the ceremonial first pitch last year on Masons Night at Dodger Stadium. Davis did as he was told, but still missed inside. He wasn’t alone: California Masonic Foundation President Doug Ismail’s first pitch, at Oracle Park, missed low and away.

That wildness wasn’t for lack of trying. Past Grand Master Russ Charvonia made a point of warming up his throwing arm the day before his pitch at Dodger Stadium in 2015. “The next day, I woke up and my shoulder was sore as can be,” he says.

With 1,500 Masons and their families watching, Charvonia—who otherwise hadn’t picked up a baseball in 30 years—lobbed his pitch wide right. Still, “To stand on the same mound as Don Drysdale and Orel Hersheiser,” he says, “I was incredibly proud.”

The 2020 Masons4Mitts season is opening soon. Visit for details

Clark Miller

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