Sen. Ted Kennedy's Last Hurrah

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Sen. Ted Kennedy's Last Hurrah
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

This article isn't entirely related to sports.

Senator Ted Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts), brother of President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert Kennedy, died this morning in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. He was 77.

The Kennedy's have been actively involved in sports during the long and grand political careers. Kennedy's mother, Eunice Shriver Kennedy, was the founder of the Special Olympics.

Kennedy had been serving Massachusetts since November of 1962. He served nine terms as senator, making him the third-longest-serving senator in US history. As of 2009, Senator Kennedy was behind Robert Byrd (Democrat, West Virginia) as the most senior member of the Senate.

Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor on May 20, 2008, three days after two seizures put him in Massachusetts General Hospital. Kennedy continued serving, and even gave a speech at the 2009 Democratic National Convention. He attended President Barack Obama's inauguration, but suffered yet another seizure during the luncheon.

On March 4th, 2009, United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that Queen Elizabeth II had chosen Kennedy for honorary knighthood. At the end of July, Senator Kennedy was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Four and a half months ago, Kennedy threw out the first pitch of the 2009 Boston Red Sox regular season, to Jim Rice. He road in on a cart driven by Rice, to a standing ovation. Kennedy stood on top of the mound and waved to the Fenway Park crowd. Rice was no more than five feet away from Kennedy, due to his loss of strength from the brain cancer. He threw the ball perfectly into the Rice's glove, and rode out of Fenway.

Kennedy's pitch echoed oh what his grandfather "Honey Fitz" John F. Fitzgerald, mayor of Boston from 1906 to 1914, had done to open Fenway in 1912.

President Obama said of Kennedy, "Though we knew this day was coming, we awaited it with no small amount of dread....for his family, he was a guardian, for America, he was the defender of a dream." Obama went on to say that Kennedy was "The greatest senator of our time..."

Ted Kennedy has done many great things in his life. He was a son, brother, father, husband, Senator, and Red Sox fan. He served his country with great pride and passion, and the 2009 Boston Red Sox, no matter what sort of playoff outcome, should be remembered for Senator Edward M. Kennedy's last hurrah. Throwing out the first pitch at Fenway. Senator Kennedy will be missed.

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