KC boy throws out first pitch 1,800 miles away

Nick's First Pitch

Nick’s First Pitch

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A thirteen-year-old Kansas City boy is living out a baseball lover’s dream.

Although he is battling a rare blood disorder, he’s throwing out the first pitch of a Major League game.

But, this one is a little different. He’s throwing the ball in Kansas City and it’s being caught in Oakland.

Thirteen-year-old Nick LaGrande is a huge baseball fan. He rooted for the Royals, but after Wednesday night, he is probably going to start following the Oakland A’s.

Nick loves to play baseball, but an extremely rare blood disorder has put him on the bench.

“It’s hard,” he said. “I just wish I could play more.”

His favorite positions are first, third and pitching.

“I like it so much because I get to interact a lot,” Lagrande said.

Nick was surprised the A’s wanted to get involved with Google to share his story and raise awareness about bone marrow donations. He was even more excited when he found out he was throwing the first pitch in Wednesday night’s game versus the New York Yankees.

But the hitch to this story — Nick was in Kansas City and the game was hosted in Oakland.

And that’s where Google technology comes in.

At 8:54 p.m. Central time, Nick threw the pitch at a virtual screen in Kansas City at the Google studios. A robotic arm finished the pitch from the mound in Oakland and was caught by A’s pitcher, Ryan Cook.

“Really cool.”

Cook told LaGrande the next time he is in KC he will be visiting him and also be delivering the ball that was thrown and signed by the team.

Nick will be able to tell this story for years to come and the hope is with the help of a bone marrow transplant Nick will be able to throw out another first pitch someday — but this time, in person.

People from Oakland to KC were supporting Nick through Twitter by giving him words of encouragement at #NicksFirstPitch.

To see more from Google about Nick’s first pitch, click here.



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