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Retired ace Webb helps D-backs open season

PHOENIX -- In a ceremony spanning 25 minutes on Monday night, the D-backs honored past and present players during the club's lead up to the first pitch of the 2013 season.

The buildup began with the Cardinals and D-backs lining up along the first- and third-base lines for a moment of silence honoring the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims and the national anthem, performed by Karlie O'Hearn, a 16-year-old cancer survivor from Peoria, Ariz.

After the teams returned to their dugouts, former D-backs pitcher and 2006 National League Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb threw out the ceremonial first pitch to third-base coach Matt Williams. The offering missed the plate outside and trickled to the backstop while both pitcher and catcher shared a laugh.

Webb, who last pitched in the Majors on Opening Day in 2009, announced his retirement this spring after battling through multiple arm injuries.

The festivities concluded with D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill being presented with his Silver Slugger Award he won last season by leading all NL second basemen in average (.300), home runs (26), doubles (44), RBI (85), total bases (316), on-base percentage (.358) and slugging percentage (.521).

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for
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