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Triple Amputee to Throw First Pitch at Rays Vs. Yankees

Apr 22, 2013

At the Tampa Bay Rays-New York Yankees game Monday night will be triple amputee Sergeant Mike Nicholson - to throw the first pitch from his wheelchair.

Nicholson, 23, was medically discharged from the Marines. During an improvised explosive device - or IED- attack in Afghanistan in 2011, Nicholson lost both legs and his left arm.

Nicholson says even though he wrote with his left arm, he always threw with his right. He plans to do alright Monday night.

"I plan on throwing it to the catcher," he laughed. "That's my goal right there, getting it to the catcher and make it look good."

Sgt. Mike Nicholson (front) is throwing the first pitch at the Rays vs. Yankees game Monday night. George Siller (back) is vice chairman of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The Tampa Bay Rays along with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation are helping to sponsor Nicholson's new "smart" home.

That smart home would have accommodations like ramps, automated lighting, and roll-in bathrooms to help make Nicholson more independent.

George Siller, vice chairman of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation - born in the ashes of the 9/11 attack - practiced throwing the ball with Nicholson before the big pitch.

"It brings us joy to see him have a full life as he can have. He gave so much for our country and we want to give back what we can," he said.

The two foundations are also sponsoring the Lieutenant Dan Band benefit concert on May 10th  at the Curtis Hixon Park. The proceeds will go towards Nicholson's new home in South Tampa.