Thirteen-year-old Nick LeGrande, a young Kansas City native battling a rare blood disease, suited up with the Oakland Athletics to toss the first pitch at O.co Coliseum on Wednesday -- from halfway across the country. With a little help from Google Fiber, the teenager successfully chucked the only major league telerobotic pitch 1,800 miles away from the stadium.
According to MLB.com, LeGrande's parents told him they would be visiting his grandmother on the day before his fourteenth birthday. Instead, he was transported to a Google facility near his home that included a miniature baseball field, complete with real grass from the Kansas City Royals' own Kauffman Stadium.
A's pitcher Ryan Cook introduced LeGrande to the crowd via live feed on the ballpark's scoreboard as a special pitching robot was wheeled out to the mound. Using a series of sensors, he was able to fully control the movements of the machine all the way from the midwest as he made the throw across the plate.
Google Fiber and the A's also recorded a special video for LeGrande prior to him throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
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To find out how you can help Nick and other children like him suffering from Aplastic Anemia, check out his story at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.