PARMA – When 8-year-old Anthony Torreiter started pitching this past week for his Parma Recreation baseball team, he had no way of knowing his new experience on the mound would be a warm-up for a much bigger stage.
Anthony will throw out the first pitch at Parma Night at Progressive Field, scheduled for Thursday, July 12 at 7:10 p.m.
A soon-to-be third grader at Green Valley Elementary School, Anthony plays for Honey Hut in the Boys’ Overhand League in Parma.
His mother, Kristin Torreiter, said her son is excited for the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a major league baseball game.
“This is going to be the highlight of his summer,” she said. “He loves baseball, and he just starting pitching a few innings this past week for his team. He’s just overwhelmed with excitement.”
Though the first pitch is reserved for the Parma mayor – current Mayor Tim DeGeeter has given up this opportunity every year to let a Parma youngster create a lasting memory. The first-pitch winner is selected randomly through a drawing of people who purchased tickets to the Parma Night Indians game.
The Recreation Department and DeGeeter originally started the first-pitch drawing in 2012 to help generate more interest in Parma Night – something the city has seen in the years since then.
But for DeGeeter, encouraging participation in Parma Night only was one factor that led to this seven-year-old tradition.
“We want to give kids memories that last a lifetime,” he said. “Seeing their faces throughout the whole first-pitch experience makes Parma Night extra special for all of us.”
Said DeGeeter: “When I run into our past first-pitch kids at different recreation activities, Parma Night is usually the first thing they mention to me.”
The Indians will face the New York Yankees at this year’s Parma Night. The first 12,500 fans through the gates will receive a Carlos Carrasco bobble head doll.
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