@JamalCollier

Hailey Dawson on a mission to throw out first pitch at every MLB ballpark

This past June, ahead of a game between the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers, Bryce Harper got behind the plate to catch the ceremonial first pitch. The pitcher was seven-year-old and fellow Las Vegan Hailey Dawson.

What was special was that Dawson, who was born with Poland Syndrome, a rare birth defect that caused her to be born without three fingers on her right hand, delivered a strike with the help of a 3-D printed hand, which was developed by engineering students at UNLV and controlled with fishing line.

Since teaching herself how to play baseball, Dawson has met some of her favorite players, including Harper and Kris Bryant, another Las Vegas native, while embarking on a mission: to throw out the first pitch at all 30 Major League Baseball ballparks while raising awareness about Poland Syndrome.

She started her journey two years ago with the school that developed the prosthetic she uses to pitch, the UNLV Rebels.

Since then, she has thrown first pitches at a Baltimore Orioles game (to another one of her favorite players Manny Machado), followed by the Nationals game this past summer.

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But that number looks like it will be growing in the near future.

Yesterday, Bleacher Report posted a video telling Dawson’s story on Twitter, with MLB teams taking notice and sending in requests to host her at a game.

The video can be watched here:

If these mentions are any indication, with responses pouring in from teams such as the Minnesota Twins, Oakland A’s, Philadelphia Phillies, and even college teams including the Florida Gators, Dawson is off to a great start. As her journey expands, maybe we will see her throwing out pitches at NCAA Softball games or for the National Pro Fastpitch League as well.

Either way, there’s no doubt we will be seeing her at ballparks across the country very soon.

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