Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Dawson throws out first pitch for Phils

Eight-year-old raising awareness for Poland syndrome by using robotic arm at each MLB ballpark
MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Hailey Dawson did her homework. She watched videos of the Phillie Phanatic -- mascots are one of her favorite parts of her tour across the country to raise awareness for Poland syndrome -- and she knew the green guy well before meeting him on Sunday.

That's because by now, the eight-year-old is a pro when it comes to meeting mascots and big leaguers alike. She's more than halfway through her quest to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at every Major League ballpark. She crossed stop No. 17 off her list when she threw a first pitch to Rhys Hoskins at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday afternoon before the finale against the Nationals.

View Full Game Coverage

PHILADELPHIA -- Hailey Dawson did her homework. She watched videos of the Phillie Phanatic -- mascots are one of her favorite parts of her tour across the country to raise awareness for Poland syndrome -- and she knew the green guy well before meeting him on Sunday.

That's because by now, the eight-year-old is a pro when it comes to meeting mascots and big leaguers alike. She's more than halfway through her quest to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at every Major League ballpark. She crossed stop No. 17 off her list when she threw a first pitch to Rhys Hoskins at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday afternoon before the finale against the Nationals.

View Full Game Coverage

"It was my mom's idea," Dawson said of her ballpark tour that began with an invite to Nationals Park from Bryce Harper in June 2017.

Dawson -- born with Poland syndrome, a rare disorder where missing or underdeveloped muscles on one side of the body can affect the chest, shoulder, arm and hand -- threw her pitch with a robotic right hand decorated with a Phillies P and several players' autographs. She receives a new "robohand" -- as she called it -- at every ballpark. The fistbump is her preferred way to say goodbye.

Throughout her previous 16 stops, Dawson has picked a few favorites. The Oriole Bird has the edge over the Phanatic in her mascot competition. And while she hasn't yet gotten a good look at the Philadelphia skyline from Citizens Bank Park, it'll be hard to top the view at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

"You could see the arches," Dawson said.

Joe Bloss is a reporter for MLB.com.

Philadelphia Phillies