Go ahead and bank on it: The first pitch thrown tonight at Tropicana Field will be pulled.
Right across the audience's heartstrings.
Hailey Dawson, an 8-year-old Las Vegas resident with a 3-D printed prosthetic hand, is set to throw out tonight's ceremonial first pitch when the Rays host the Orioles at Tropicana Field. Official first pitch is at 7:10 p.m., meaning Hailey will appear a few minutes prior.
Hailey, whose goal is to throw out the first pitch at all 30 big-league ball parks, was born with a birth defect called Poland Syndrome, resulting in an underdeveloped pectoral muscle and missing or underdeveloped digits on her right hand.
Her parents contacted UNLV's Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, where students and faculty have designed a number of 3D-printed hands that have enabled Hailey to grab, grasp, and even throw a baseball.
Hailey Dawson, who has a bionic arm, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Blue Jays game and ended with an awesome celebration. pic.twitter.com/Pe2eso7ene— ESPN (@espn) August 8, 2018
She recently tossed out the first pitch at Dodgers and Blue Jays home games, and is set to appear at Marlins Park in Miami on Friday. According to this UNLV news release, Hailey hopes to have appeared at no fewer than 27 big-league parks by this fall.
"Initially we looked at it like a functional type thing," said Hailey's mom, Yong Dawson. "But slowly it became a confidence builder for her."