Another check off my Bucket List

Today was a bucket list day. I threw out the first pitch with my Grandson Andre at the Mariners game. I didn’t think much about the event when I was told I was going to be able to do it six months ago. But as the day approached, my buddies started asking, “..are you freaked out? All those people watching…Please don’t throw it in the dirt and embarrass me…”

I took their comments in stride, I played a little high school baseball and I can still throw. Two weeks before the big day, a friend picks me and says my wife T has planned a surprise day for me. One of those “just because I love you days.” Yes I am a lucky man. After a massage, singing lessons and some hang time with my nephew, we drove to a warehouse. We went inside and saw what looked to be like an indoor ball field. Turns out is was a practice facility for very serious baseball players to hone their skills.

I was introduced a tall young man who said he would be my pitching coach for the day. I later found out that my wife and my assistant had called Potential Hall of Famer and Ex-Mariner Edgar Martinez to see if he could help me pitch. Edgar kindly replied, he was more a hitting guy then a pitching guy and kindly hooked me up with an ex-minor leager name Chris. Chris said he had a run of the mill 93 mile an hour fast ball and his career had been cut short by injury so he took to coaching. I spent 2 hours throwing over a hundred pitches until I thought my arm was going to fall off. His instruction was good but I had so many things in my head I was over thinking every pitch. What I thought was going to be a friendly toss to the catcher had now turned into my Major League Debut.

So when we walked onto Safeco Field, I tried not to over think what I was doing, looked down at my four year old grandson and said, “Wave to the crowd Dre, they are all here for you, this will be a moment you and Papi will talk about for the next 30 years.” Then I launched the ball, straight down the middle of the plate, perhaps a little high, but I am calling it a STRIKE.

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