Robot helps Kansas City teen throw out first pitch

USA TODAY Sports

The first ever telerobotic first pitch was thrown Wednesday afternoon by 13-year-old Nick LeGrande before the Yankees-Athletics game at Oakland Coliseum.

When Nick LeGrande was told he was going to his grandma's house Wednesday afternoon, he had no idea that the plan was to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the A's-Yankees game. How could he? The game was taking place almost 2,000 miles away in Oakland, and he was in no condition to travel that far.

And yet, that's exactly what he did... from Kansas City. Affected with a rare blood disorder called severe aplastic anemia, the 13-year-old LeGrande is no longer able to attend baseball games, so his family decided to have the game come to him instead, per Jeff Kirshman of MLB.com. With the help of Google Fiber, the LeGrande family had a miniature baseball stadium constructed in their home, complete with a mound, bleachers, and real grass from Kaufmann Stadium.

Then the time came for LeGrande to throw out the first pitch... with a little help from a tech-savvy friend. Adhering to the Second Law of Robotics, a robot on the mound in Oakland followed the teen's movements and tossed the ball to A's reliever Ryan Cook as LeGrande did the same on the video board, successfully completing the first ever telerobotic first pitch:


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