On this date: July 22, 2004
Wrigley Field: Reds vs Cubs
Casey threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Reds vs Cubs.
We had been invited to have Casey throw out the pitch one year earlier, but we had to decline because Casey had just had his bone marrow transplant.
The invite came from friend Tom Puma of Pabst/Old Style. The best thing about being there that day was the fact that Casey had cleared the first year since the transplant and he was able to be out in public.
We traveled from Cincinnati to Chicago, with nearly 30 family and friends joining us from Chicago, North Carolina, Northern California, Southern California, Georgia, Indiana, Florida and other parts of the country. We had Team Casey t-shirts printed up prior to the trip for everyone in our group to wear.
Prior to the trip, I had spent night after night working on practice pitches in the backyard with Casey. Dan Hoard (then of Fox 19) had told Reds 1B Sean Casey about the ceremonial first pitch. Sean, who Casey was named after, asked if he could catch the pitch. Hoard and photographer Dan Wood even made the trip from Cincinnati to do a story on the day.
Casey was announced over the PA, with his name shown on the Wrigley Field scoreboard. I walked him out, halfway between the mound and home plate. Casey raised the ball above his head, showing it to the crowd. He then tossed a strike. He was so excited he turned, ran and jumped into my arms. Sean was so excited, he tried to jump into my arms! The three of us were jumping up and down as the crowd went nuts!
What a day!
Please consider getting registered for the National Marrow Donor Program, Be The Match.
You can save a life.