Marine Sergeant to Throw Out First Pitch Rays vs. Yankees

Siller (back) and Nicholson give news media a demo before tonight's big pitch. Photo credit Yoselis Ramos.

George Siller (back) and Mike Nicholson (front) give news reporters a demo before tonight’s big pitch. Photo by Yoselis Ramos.

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.”

The Tampa Bay Rays along with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation are helping to sponsor Nicholson’s new “smart” home.

That home will have accommodations like ramps, automated lighting, and roll-in bathrooms to help Nicholson be more independent.

Nicholson plays catch and practices his first pitch prior to the Rays vs. Yankees game. Photo by Yoselis Ramos.

Nicholson plays catch and practices his first pitch prior to the Rays vs. Yankees game. Photo by Yoselis Ramos.

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: