When the air becomes crisper, and the hayrides begin, baseball fans know that one thing has arrived: the World Series. For over 100 years, the Fall Classic has brought a spirited conclusion to the Major League Baseball season.
At game four of the 2017 World Series, the hosts, the Houston Astros, gave one young fan the experience of a lifetime – throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Incredibly, she did so with an artificial hand.
Hailey Dawson has a goal – to throw out the first pitch at every stadium in Major League Baseball.
So far she has thrown out the first pitch at three stadiums: Oriole Park, Nationals Park (homes of the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals), and Minute Maid Park (home to the American League Pennant-winning Houston Astros).
Dawson’s goal seems quite lofty for a girl without a fully formed right hand.
Dawson was born with a disorder called Poland syndrome, which causes underdeveloped and deformed hands. Her right hand only has a fully formed pinky and thumb.
Hailey is a huge baseball fan and refuses to let her condition slow her down. She wears a custom 3D-printed robotic hand which allows her to grab and throw a ball, as well as other activities.
Major League Baseball commissioner came away quite impressed with Hailey after meeting her at the World Series.
He said, “She’s really a terrific young lady. It’s an honor for Major League Baseball to have her here to throw out the first pitch. It’s an amazing scientific and medical accomplishment.”
After tossing the first pitch for the Orioles and Nationals, she received a massive amount of invitations from MLB teams. At least 17 MLB teams including the defending champion Chicago Cubs reached out via Twitter.
Even minor league and college baseball teams wanted her to come throw out the first pitch. Hopefully, the World Series is just the beginning of her quest.