One pitch, one message.
Eight-year-old Hailey Dawson is on a three-year journey around Major League Baseball to throw out the first pitch at all 30 Major League ballparks. Tampa Bay is stop number 26 on the Hailey Dawson Tour. Her message is simple, “If I can do it, you can do it.”
Hailey was born with Poland Syndrome, a birth defect that caused her to have three missing fingers on her right hand at birth.
Armed with a 3D printed hand, specially made by engineers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Hailey has been throwing out first pitches since she was five-years-old. She has a hand made for each MLB ballpark she visits, imprinted with the logo of that team.
The first team she ever threw out a pitch for was the Baltimore Orioles. Born in Las Vegas, into an Orioles family, her Dad, a Las Vegas Police Sargent and Mom, Yong who owns her own photography business are diehard Orioles fans, so she was easily hooked.
On the way home from her first MLB game, she asked her mom, “When am I pitching again?” She wouldn’t have to wait long for her answer.
Hailey’s first pitch went viral and soon after that she was throwing out the first pitch at Game 4 of the World Series.
“Who gets to throw out the first pitch at a World Series game? My daughter does, and that got the ball rolling from there.”
Poland Syndrome does not have a national organization, but Hailey Dawson has become the face of it.
On September 16th, Hailey’s three-year tour will be competed around Major League Baseball after throwing out the first pitch for the Los Angeles Angels.
Yong hopes for every pitch thrown, Hailey’s message has been sent. “If I can do it, you can do it.”
One pitch, one powerful message.