Oct 10, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; General view of O.co Coliseum before game four of the 2012 ALDS between the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Boy With Rare Disease to Throw First Pitch at Oakland Athletics Game From 1,800 Miles Away Through Robot (Video)


A lot of us take for granted the ability to go out in public and do the things that we love to do on a daily basis. For some, like 13-year-old Nick LeGrande, that just isn’t possible. LeGrande suffers from aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder, so he is not able to go out in public because of a severely weakened immune system. LeGrande also happens to be a huge baseball fan and thanks to the Oakland Athletics he will get to live out a dream.

Before tonight’s game, LeGrande will throw out the first pitch 1,800 miles from Oakland in Kansas City, Missouri.

How is this even possible? Technology.

A special robotic pitching machine will be placed on the mound in Oakland and it will emulate the moves of LeGrande as he throws the pitch in Kansas City. He will then be able to watch his pitch being thrown out by the robot in what will be an incredible moment in this young man’s life.

Here are more details from Michael Gray of the San Francisco Chronicle:

The A’s say it’s believed to be the first telerobotic first pitch in Major League Baseball history. The same technology is used to perform remote operations aboard the International Space Station and allows doctors to perform surgery in remote areas.

[...]

The telerobotic pitching machine, meanwhile, will sit atop the pitcher’s mound in Oakland. The machine will follow Nick’s movements as he winds up and throws, allowing him to throw the pitch remotely and to see it happen at O.co Coliseum.

A’s pitcher Ryan Cook reportedly was very involved in making this happen and he will catch the ceremonial first pitch.

At a time when technology often stops people from social interaction as they bury themselves in their devices, this technology will make a young boys dream come true and provide one of the happiest moments in sports. It is moments like this that make us love sports.

[H/T: CBS Sports]

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Tags: Oakland Athletics