With the help of some advanced technology, the Oakland A's helped make one 13-year-old Kansas City resident's dreams come through with one of the more memorable first pitches fans have seen this season.
Nick LeGrande, who according to the New York Times was an avid baseball player with his dreams on the major leagues, has been unable to play since contracting a rare and dangerous blood disorder aplastic anemia.
To help him live his dreams of throwing out the first pitch, the A's arranged to have LeGrande electronically trigger an elerobotic pitching machine. Unlike other first pitches that fall short or off target, LeGrande's went directly into the glove of A's reliever Ryan Cook.
"That a boy, Nick, pretty good arm there, bud," Cook said, according to the Associated Press. "Congratulations, bud, you're in the big leagues."
The machine had a camera on it so LeGrande could throw the ball and watch it from hundreds of miles away. He threw it from a mini baseball field constructed by Google at the Kansas City hospital where he receives treatment, according to the AP.
"I thought it would be an amazing thing to be a part of, to make somebody's dream come true," Cook reportedly said before the game. "And once it came to me, I started at the bottom of the ladder here at the clubhouse and took it to the Athletics and hoped they'd be supportive of it. We got nothing but support all the way up, and from there it was pretty seamless and easy for me. I just sat back and let it all transpire."
@ryancook_48 thank u so much can't wait to have u come over with your friends
— nick legrande (@n_legrande) June 13, 2013