A seven-year-old girl named Hailey Dawson has a 3D printed prosthetic hand. But that isn’t stopping her from accomplishing her dream of throwing the first pitch at every MLB stadium.
Hailey Dawson was born with a rare birth defect called Poland syndrome, a disorder that causes certain muscles to be missing or underdeveloped. In this case, it left the child’s right hand without all of her fingers, but this obstacle hasn’t stopped the seven-year-old girl from following her dream–to throw out the ceremonial first pitches at every Major League Baseball stadium.
Back in 2014, engineers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas created a functional 3D printed prosthetic hand for the young girl, allowing her to take to the field and play ball. Now, Dawson is aiming to break the Guinness World Record for throwing the most ceremonial first pitches. It seems like her fastball will soon be gracing the fields of many baseball stadiums across the country.
When she was just five, Dawson was invited to throw the first pitch at the UNLV Rebels college baseball game. However, Hailey also wanted to toss the ceremonial first pitch for the Baltimore Orioles, her family’s favorite team. And so, later that year, the team let her take the mound and throw to her favorite player, Manny Machado.
This year, Hailey met the all-star slugger Bryce Harper in Las Vegas. He invited her to throw out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game this past June. Since the sports news site Bleacher Report tweeted about her grand accomplishment, more and more teams have extended invitations to help make Hailey’s dream come true. So far, 24 MLB clubs have responded on social media, imploring the young girl to come take the mound at their baseball stadiums.
According to Yong Dawson, Hailey’s mother, the wrist-operated 3D printed hand has also served as a major confidence booster. Outside of trying to break the record, the seven-year-old girl is also happily raising awareness about Poland syndrome and the accessibility of 3D printed prosthetics. Currently, Hailey has seven different prosthetic hands, including the custom ones she wore for the Orioles and Nationals games. Every time she receives a new assistive device, she likes to have it signed by someone.
With the MLB season coming to a close and school starting up, it’s unlikely that Hailey will reach her goal until next year. However, even with two first pitches at Camden Yards and Nationals Park under her belt, this young girl is already living the life that most baseball fans will only ever dream of.
License: The text of "Girl with 3D Printed Hand Aims to Throw First Pitch for All 30 MLB Teams" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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