SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — There’s always a ceremonial first pitch before San Francisco Giants baseball games, but few have been as special as Sunday’s.
Hailey Dawson, a courageous 8-year-old, calmly walked to the mound and tossed out the pitch. What made it so special was that Hailey lost a hand to a rare birth defect called Poland Syndrome and now uses a bionic 3D printed hand created for her by the doctors and researchers at the University Of Nevada-Las Vegas.
“This is a really cool field!” Hailey said as she warmed up by playing catch with her brother. “I’m really excited.”
Her mother, Yong Dawson, said the bionic hand has given her daughter a wonderful lift.
“When she puts this robotic hand on, it changes her personality and confidence level,” Yong said. “I love seeing that. I just wanted her to have an even playing field not even something to have an advantage.”
Hailey got to hang out in the Giants duggout and meet the players who signed her special hand. They also let her try on their World Series rings.
“Amaaaaaaaaaaazing!!!” she said as she looked at them.
Yong said her daughter never realizes that she’s an inspiration to others.
“Oh it makes me so proud,” her mother told KPIX 5. “She doesn’t understand what an inspiration she is. What she tells me is, ‘I’m just being Hailey!’ And that’s the coolest part.”
Hailey joined the players on the field with her robotic hand on her chest for the Star Spangled Banner. Then it was time for the first pitch. She tossed an underhand strike to home plate. Then with a wave and a smile, she headed into the stands to cheer on her new found friends on the Giants.