The 90-year-old Pittston woman beamed and shuffled across the manicured grass of PNC Bank Field. In a section down the right field line, a 50-member fan section crowed with pride.
But no one saw her in the stands two minutes earlier, wringing her hands nervously, making sure her oxygen tank would be toted out and cracking a subtle joke.
"Oh my god," Mrs. Galasso said standing to be taken onto the field. "I hope I don't take the catcher's head off."
For Mrs. Galasso, a New York Yankees fan for more than 60 years, an afternoon watching the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees at a surprise birthday outing with four generations of family members helped ease pangs of loss.
In early March, she lost a son, one of four children, to muscular dystrophy. They had talked every day, and if he didn't pick up the phone she would. But the ground was too frozen and too much snow lay piled on the gravesite. The burial waited a month.
In that time, Mrs. Galasso lost one of her nine grandchildren. Two funerals left her numb.
She still tuned in to watch the Bronx Bombers every night, and if she fell asleep there was the replay the next day. She doesn't have a favorite player - not now and never really in the past. But she always got a kick out of watching former Yankees Manager Billy Martin kick dust during brouhahas with umpires.
But in the wake of the deaths, Mrs. Galasso felt a tinge of emptiness.
So her daughter came up with an idea: Take her out to a ballgame.
Gwen Galasso called the minor league Yankees a couple weeks ago with a request - "My mother's birthday is coming up, do you think she could throw out the first pitch?" A week later, she was told, "Yes, it's a go."
"When I told her that she was going to throw out the first pitch, she was floored," Gwen Galasso said. "I took her out into the yard to practice, and she threw one pitch and almost hit me. I knew she was ready."
Then there was the plan Mrs. Galasso didn't know about: Her entire family would be on hand to watch. With 50 tickets, an entire stadium section and a minibus, the plan was perfectly hatched.
So when Mrs. Galasso peeked out her front window to see the bus parked on her front lawn, she thought, "some nerve," and out she went to take a look.
"I walked up the steps, and they were all my grandchildren and great-granchildren shouting," she said. "I thought, 'Oh, my gosh,' and nearly slipped."
Stepping back through a gate into the stands at PNC Field on Saturday, Mrs. Galasso met her daughter.
"You did awesome," Gwen said.
"At least I got it there," her mother answered.
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