Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Girl's first-pitch tour comes to Coors Field

LeMahieu close to return; Dahl glad to avoid sprinting
MLB.com

DENVER -- Hailey Dawson is what some might call an expert, even at 8 years old and with a prosthetic hand.

"Stop," Dawson said. "Look at the catcher. And throw."

View Full Game Coverage

DENVER -- Hailey Dawson is what some might call an expert, even at 8 years old and with a prosthetic hand.

"Stop," Dawson said. "Look at the catcher. And throw."

View Full Game Coverage

Wednesday at Coors Field was Dawson's ninth time throwing the first pitch of a Major League game after teams learned of her dream of throwing out the first pitch at every MLB ballpark. She will continue her ballpark tour throughout the summer.

On Wednesday, Hailey watched the Rockies at batting practice and met the players, who signed her purple Colorado Rockies artificial hand. An hour before she threw out the first pitch, she had 10 players' signatures scattered on the hand.

Dawson has Poland syndrome, a birth defect that causes an underdeveloped pectoral muscle, which stunted the growth of three of her fingers. Because of this, University of Nevada-Las Vegas -- the Dawson family lives in Las Vegas -- constructed a 3D-printed hand to allow Dawson to throw a baseball.

After UNLV constructed the hand, Hailey threw out the first pitch at some of the school's baseball games, and the Dawson family sent in video to the Baltimore Orioles -- Dawson's dad, Gregory, is from Baltimore and is an Orioles fan -- who invited Hailey to throw out the first pitch at a game in 2015. After MLB officials found out about Hailey's story a couple of years later, they invited her to throw out the first pitch of Game 4 of the World Series in Houston.

"It was a strike," Hailey said of her World Series first pitch.

Dawson's favorite player is Manny Machado because "he hits a lot of home runs," but she said she doesn't have a favorite ballpark -- yet. But she does have a favorite part about her ballpark tour: "Throwing out the first pitch, of course."

Being whisked around different ballparks has been a whirlwind for the Dawson family, but Gregory Dawson said his favorite part is watching Hailey be happy on the mound.

"I never thought in 100 years that it'd be possible like this, and it wasn't set out to be like this," Dawson said. "But for me, watching her and my son go out there and be happy is my favorite."

LeMahieu could return Friday

Second baseman DJ LeMahieu took multiple at-bats and played defense in an extended spring game for the second straight day Wednesday and could return to the lineup Friday. LeMahieu suffered a left thumb injury -- a ligament sprain and a small break, both on the outside of the thumb -- on May 13.

Home run the best option

Rockies outfielder David Dahl was happy to not have to run Tuesday night.

Dahl, nursing a bruised left shin and calf, didn't start the 11-4 victory over the Giants, but hit a seventh-inning, two-run homer as a pinch-hitter.

Video: SF@COL: Dahl launches a pinch-hit, 2-run home run

"Right before I got up to the plate Bud [Black, Rockies manager] asked if I could run, or get Jon Gray or somebody to run," Dahl said. "I said, 'I'm good.' He said, 'Attaboy, that's what I like to hear.' But I wanted to go up there and drive something, so I didn't have to really sprint."

Dahl didn't start Wednesday night, although he was again available off the bench. He said the time off his feet and Thursday's day off should give him time to heal for Friday's opener of three home games against the Dodgers.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies, David Dahl, DJ LeMahieu