Missouri boy hurt by foul ball at college game recovering, will throw out first pitch at minor league game

DIAMOND, Mo. — A 7-year-old Missouri boy who suffered debilitating injuries when he was struck in the head by a foul ball at a college baseball game last month is recovering and will throw out the first pitch an upcoming minor league game.

Dawson Hirshey

Dawson Hirshey, of Diamond, was struck by a line-drive foul ball during a Missouri Southern State University baseball game on April 13. The injury caused bleeding in his brain, several mini-strokes and the loss of movement.

Dawson returned home last week after receiving treatment at a Kansas City children's hospital for the subdural hematoma, the Joplin Globe reported . Doctors had to remove part of Dawson's skull to relieve pressure in his head, and he now wears a special protective hat and walks with a leg brace.

"With the brace, he gets around pretty good," said Dawson's father, Nick Hirshey. "The physical therapist thinks he's doing great. If he gets some more movement in that (left) foot, he'll be in good shape."

Dawson has one last upcoming surgery to fill the hole in his skull. Doctors haven't set a date for the surgery yet.

He was invited to throw the ceremonial first pitch Friday at a Joplin Outlaws' game at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin, where he was injured. He said he's excited about the opportunity.

Dawson's parents are hesitant but said it'll give the family a chance to thank friends, relatives, co-workers and community members who donated money and time to help with their son's recovery.

"It's going to be tough to walk back in there," said Dawson's mom, Alicia Hughes-Hirshey. "I could easily never go there again. But I know I need to be brave and strong, just like Dawson. If he can do it, I can, too. What better testimony is there than to see him out there?"