Armless man to throw out first pitch with foot

Aug 16, 2012, 10:22 AM | Updated: 2:27 pm
Tom Willis throws out the first pitch at a recent Red Sox game (Image courtesy Tom Willis)
(Image courtesy Tom Willis)

Monday night’s ceremonial first pitch at the Mariners game is likely to be the most unconventional, as a disabled man makes the toss with his feet.

It’s the latest stop on a national tour for Tom Willis. Willis says he was born without arms and hands and learned to use his legs and feet to do everything.

Willis says the goal of his ‘Pitch for Awareness’ tour is to raise awareness of the abilities of persons with disabilities.

“Who says you need hands to pitch?” Willis asks.

“Every little boy who picks up a baseball dreams of some day playing on a professional team in a professional stadium,” Willis says. “As a child I shared that same dream.”

Willis says in a release he’s a motivational speaker who meets with groups of all ages and talks about his unique life and how he manages to conquer the obstacles and challenges he meets every day.

Willis says he has traveled more than 40,000 miles and thrown out ceremonial first pitches at 16 MLB stadiums for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Washington Nationals.

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