Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Special ceremonial first pitches on tap for Saturday

Heart transplant recipient to meet donor’s family for first time at Miller Park
September 6, 2019

MILWAUKEE – A year ago, a new relationship began between one Milwaukee Brewers fan and the family of a Chicago Cubs fan. Tom Schroeder, a Brewers supporter, was in need of a heart transplant, and after spending 50 days in the hospital, in August 2018 he underwent surgery at Aurora

MILWAUKEE – A year ago, a new relationship began between one Milwaukee Brewers fan and the family of a Chicago Cubs fan.

Tom Schroeder, a Brewers supporter, was in need of a heart transplant, and after spending 50 days in the hospital, in August 2018 he underwent surgery at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, receiving the heart of 32-year-old donor Joshua Holland.

Three months after his surgery, Schroeder wrote a letter to the donor’s family that was delivered by the transplant coordinator. A month later, he received a letter back from the mother of the donor, Melanie Cook. Among the things he learned about the life of his donor, Schroeder discovered that he had been a fan of the Cubs.

This Saturday, September 7, Schroeder will meet the family of his donor for the first time at Miller Park prior to the Brewers and Cubs second-to-last scheduled meeting this year. He and the donor’s niece, Jerzie Wilkerson, will throw out ceremonial first pitches.

“We all embrace the great rivalry between the Brewers and Cubs, but this is a story that goes well beyond what happens between the baselines,” said Brewers Manager Craig Counsell. “It’s another example of how baseball can bring together fans and families in unexpected ways.”

In marking the occasion, Brewers Manager Craig Counsell and Cubs Manager Joe Maddon will catch the ceremonial pitches.

The families will be introduced to each other prior to that evening’s pregame festivities at approximately 3:30 p.m. on the Field Level behind home plate. In addition to this opportunity, there will also be interview availabilities after with Tom Schroeder, Jerzie Wilkerson and Dr. Eric Weiss, who performed the transplant surgery.

Media planning on covering Saturday’s pregame ceremonies must apply for credentials online at least 24 hours in advance at credentials.mlb.com.