By Yoselis Ramos
At the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees game Monday night, triple amputee Sergeant Mike Nicholson will throw the first pitch from his wheelchair.
Nicholson, 23, was injured by an improvised explosive device – or IED- attack in Afghanistan in 2011. He lost both legs and his left arm and is medically discharged from the Marines.
Nicholson said even though he wrote with his left hand, he always threw with his right. So, he believes he’ll do just fine throwing to home plate.
“I plan on throwing it to the catcher,” he laughed. “That’s my goal right there, getting it to the catcher and make it look good.”
That home will have accommodations like ramps, automated lighting, and roll-in bathrooms to help Nicholson be more independent.
George Siller is vice chairman of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation which was started after the 9/11 attacks. Siller practiced throwing the ball with Nicholson before tonight’s big pitch.
“It brings us joy to see him have a full life as he can have. He gave so much for our country and we want to give back what we can,” Siller said.
The two foundations are also sponsoring the Lieutenant Dan Band benefit concert on May 10th at the Curtis Hixon Park. The proceeds will go towards Nicholson’s new home in South Tampa.