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Sick A’s fan uses robot to throw out first pitch

Jun 13, 2013, 8:49 AM EDT

Athletics Unique First Pitch

From one heartwarming story in Oakland to another.

Nick LeGrande is an A’s fan who lives in Kansas City. He has a rare blood disorder called severe aplastic anemia, and it prevents him from going to games. But he nonetheless threw out the first pitch at last night’s Yankees-A’s game. How? Via robot:

It was all made possible by a telerobotic pitching machine, and is believed to be a baseball first when it comes to ceremonial first pitches … LeGrande and his family, including parents Mike and Shari, were taken to a mini baseball stadium. It was constructed by Google at its Kansas City offices … At the same in the Bay Area, a telerobotic pitching machine was placed on the pitcher’s mound at the Oakland Coliseum to follow the teen’s movements. The technology allowed LeGrande to simultaneously throw the pitch and watch it happen from afar.

Check out video of LeGrande’s first pitch here.

Here’s the robot:

source: Getty Images

  1. chill1184 - Jun 13, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Thats awesome

  2. jhb64 - Jun 13, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Good for him

  3. specialkindofstupid - Jun 13, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Now this is a good story.

  4. historiophiliac - Jun 13, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Sometimes Craig’s headlines are like Rorschach tests.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      No shit. You know he’s does it on purpose.
      His headlines are added to my “reasons to give C.C. a titty twister list.”

      • historiophiliac - Jun 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        I hate you for making me think of CC’s titties.

  5. stlouis1baseball - Jun 13, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Great story. Well done by Google, the A’s and most importantly…Nick LaGrande.

  6. billybawl - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Hm. Maybe a pitcher with anger management issues like Carlos Zambrano could use this set up to telecommute to the office.

  7. trollingforjustice - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Did anyone else see some suspicious looking substance on the arm of that robot?

  8. Brinke - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    how very cool.

  9. nbjays - Jun 13, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Maybe Google could hook Valverde up with one of these puppies.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:40 AM

      Maybe we could just glue a beard on it and teach it to wiggle its butt and pump its robot arm after strikes and bypass Spuds McWiggles altogether…

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