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Hailey Dawson is a 7-year-old baseball fan who wants to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at every MLB ballpark. Making Dawson’s story remarkable is the fact she was born with only two fingers on her right hand and uses a 3D-printed prosthetic.
A handful of MLB squads have reached out to bring Dawson to their ballparks to showcase her skills, and before the World Series, she’d wowed crowds in Baltimore and Washington while delivering the first pitches before games. In her biggest moment of all on Saturday, she threw a perfect strike before game 4 of the Series.
Dawson was born with Poland Syndrome, which causes underdeveloped chest walls and can affect the fingers. In Dawson’s case, she’s missing her pointer, middle, and ring fingers, and she uses a 3D-printed hand that was created by University of Nevada-Las Vegas researchers.
“[The 3-D printed hand] is operated by wrist movement,” Yong Dawson, her mom, told MASNsports in 2015. “When Hailey’s wrist goes to a down motion, the fingers will grasp and when it goes in the up motion, the fingers release.”
And clearly, it works well enough to throw a baseball in front of tens of thousands of fans.
Hailey Dawson (7),throwing out 1st pitch tonight, spent time w/ Justin Verlander & her catcher Jose Altuve.Hailey was born w/ a rare condition called Poland Syndrome & is missing 3 fingers on her right hand.With aid of a 3D-printed prosthetic hand she can play the sport she loves pic.twitter.com/wjQZE4iTRR— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) October 29, 2017
Earlier today, J.Verlander presented NV native Hailey Dawson, who will throw 1st pitch w/robotic hand, cleats w/ “Vegas Strong” inscription. pic.twitter.com/taHkdoHlep— Alyson Footer (@alysonfooter) October 28, 2017
For some reason, Fox didn’t show the moment live on TV, and many on Twitter were outraged by that decision. But for Dawson and her family, maybe it doesn’t matter. After all, her perfect pitch will live forever on the internet.
H/T SB Nation
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.