First win of G4 comes in pregame ceremony

Cancer survivor O'Connor throws first pitch nearly 11 years after diagnosis

October 31st, 2021

ATLANTA -- For a few moments on Saturday evening at Truist Park, the field belonged to Elizabeth O’Connor. A packed stadium looked on as she threw the ceremonial first pitch ahead of Game 4 of the World Series between the Astros and her hometown Braves.

O’Connor was chosen for the experience as part of Stand Up to Cancer’s “Bid 2 End Cancer” auction series. She is a survivor of stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which she was diagnosed with two weeks after giving birth to her son.

“I was in amazement,” O’Connor said of being selected. “I don’t know how to put it into words, but just very grateful because they don’t give much time for pancreatic cancer patients. Initially, I wasn’t given very much time. I’m almost 11 years.”

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) auctioned the opportunity to throw the first pitch as part of its lifesaving cancer research funding efforts. With a bid of $500,000, Oakland A’s Chairman Emeritus Lew Wolff won the auction and teamed up with SU2C to select who would get the honor.

“It's just overwhelming,” O’Connor said. “I can't believe that I'm going to be out there. I just don't have words for it. I'm just really grateful that I get to experience that. Cancer has been tough, but yet at the same time, I've had a lot of neat experiences like this one.”

O’Connor’s ceremonial Game 4 first pitch took place ahead of the emotional moment held after the fifth inning in which players, coaches, umpires and fans hold up placards displaying the names of loved ones affected by cancer.

As founding donors of SU2C, Major League Baseball and the 30 clubs have committed more than $50 million to cancer research.

“It says that when people come together for something they all really care about, magic happens and good things happen,” said SU2C co-founder Rusty Robertson.