The ceremonial first pitch in baseball is one of the best traditions in sports. It is a great way to honor and recognize former players, outstanding members of the community, or just remarkable individuals. We have previously counted down the best, and the worst first pitches caught on film. But there is a whole different class of great first pitches that we discovered in our research. From happiness to pride to amazement, these are the Renaissance Fan’s ceremonial first pitches that will make you feel things:
Sergeant Brian Keaton Bombs One Home
Members of the military are frequent (and deserving) honorees for ceremonial first pitches all across the country. And our folks in uniform do a fine job with the proceedings. But Sgt. Keaton put his own unique military spin on the traditional first pitch at a Washington Nationals game. Keaton was wounded in Iraq and needed over 3 years to recover.
Never Too Old For Baseball
From her name (Kitty Cohen) to her windup to her smile, this first pitch is adorable on every single level. We should all be so lucky to be having that much fun at 101 years old.
Warning: Kleenex Needed
Perhaps you have seen this type of thing before, but it will still have the same effect on you. A catcher’s mask is a perfect disguise for a returning military member to surprise their kids. The Rays really sold this one by having a pre-recorded video of the father while still in Afghanistan:
If you would prefer the father/son version, it’s here. and it will make you just as weepy.
A Baseball Happy Ending
The following clip features Cleveland Indians infielder Mike Aviles (now with the Tigers) with his two twin girls, Adriana and Maiya in 2015. Adriana had leukemia at the time of this clip. Coming to the park, playing with the other players and coaches, running around on the field, and throwing out the first pitch were all well deserved distractions for a family going through an unimaginable struggle. This whole clip is pure happiness, but with an undertone of sadness about Adriana’s condition. Enjoy, and then please read on.
Ok, now that you’re laying in a puddle on the floor, we are happy to report that Adriana returned to throw out another first pitch in May of 2016. She is now cancer free. What a brave, tough little girl.