We told you it was coming: A boy sick with a rare blood disorder would throw the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game from five states away, thanks to help from a high-tech robot and Google Fiber.
The moment finally arrived before Wednesday night’s Yankees-A’s game in Oakland, Calif., and it’s a pretty heartwarming example of sports technology being used to make one kid’s day.
Thirteen-year-old Nick LeGrande is a huge baseball fan and a talented player recently diagnosed with aplastic anemia — a condition in which the bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood — meaning he can no longer play ball or surround himself with large crowds.
His family and friends had a huge surprise in store for him on Wednesday night, though: a specially constructed miniature baseball field at Google Fiber‘s headquarters in LeGrande’s hometown of Kansas City, where he was able to throw out the first pitch at the game in Oakland — 1,800 miles away.
As LeGrande pitched the ball in Kansas City, his movements were captured and relayed to a robot stationed atop the pitcher’s mound before thousands of fans and dozens of pro players in Oakland. The robot used that information to mimic the teen’s throw and deliver it to the glove of A’s All-Star Ryan Cook, while the crowd cheered him on and LeGrande watched a video feed in Kansas City.
Watch the video from Wednesday night’s game above, then let us know what you think in the comments.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images