Tom Willis completed a long-term goal he set for himself as a young adult: to throw the first pitch in every single MLB ballpark. One thing about him, though, was that he was born without arms. That didn't stop him, as he completed his goal today by throwing out the first pitch at the Colorado Rockies game.
Willis took off his shoe, gripped the ball with his toes and the bottom of his foot and fired in a strike. MLB fans couldn't help but feel inspired as they watched Willis fire in a perfect pitch.
Tom Willis is truly inspiring, reminding everyone that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. He's a role model to anyone that is faced with disabilities. He has a great message, and it is awesome to see MLB embrace it.
Willis became a motivational speaker for people with disabilities in 2002. In 2008, while he was demonstrating throwing tennis balls and frisbees to students, a local San Diego TV station came across him. The TV station happened to be the San Diego Padres flagship station.
One of the editors for the station joked that he had a pretty good fastball. Willis replied that if it was such a good fastball, they should have him throw the first pitch at the park. He was invited to Petco Park to throw the first pitch at a Padres game on May 27, 2008.
Willis received such a great reception in San Diego that he thought this would be the perfect way to raise awareness for people with disabilities. He then decided to make it a goal to pitch at every single MLB park.
It's great to see anyone accomplish a goal they set out to achieve, let alone someone in the position of Tom Willis. As someone who is also hindered by a disability, what he has done is important.
MLB giving Tom Willis a platform to inspire is great for the sport
Nobody should ever be told that they can't do something because they aren't capable. It doesn't matter where you come from, your disability, age, etc. If you put your mind to something and work hard enough, anything is possible.
People often see others with disabilities as helpless, but this shows everyone that there is a solution to every problem. After accomplishing his goal of throwing out the first pitch at every MLB stadium, it will be interesting to see what's in store for him in the future.