In a remarkable display of determination and inspiration, Yankee Stadium will bear witness to a unique ceremonial first pitch on Tuesday night. The special guest for the evening is Tom Willis, a 64-year-old motivational speaker who was born without arms.
However, this hasn’t stopped him from embarking on the impressive "Pitch for Awareness National Tour." Willis, who employs his feet with incredible dexterity to throw a baseball, will make his appearance before the Yankees face off against the Blue Jays.
This will mark the 29th MLB stadium that has honored Willis by inviting him to showcase his skill and share his empowering message. Speaking to USA TODAY's Jon Hoefling, Willis emphasized, “This event is not just about me throwing a ball.
It's a platform to enlighten people on the capabilities of those with disabilities. I want them to see past the limitations and envision the potential”.
Willis's Inspiring Journey Begins
The journey for Willis began in 2008, with an invitation from his hometown team, the San Diego Padres.
They had come across his motivational sessions, which not only featured his speeches but also physical demonstrations that highlighted his journey of learning everything using his feet. In a heartwarming chat with Jack Curry on the YES Network, Willis expressed, “I embraced this baseball challenge to take my life's lessons and resonate them with a larger audience.
It's my way of sharing the potential within adversity”. To underscore his message of perseverance, Willis won't be making any shortcuts. He will pitch from the very center of the Yankee Stadium mound, a full 60 feet, 6 inches from his target.
As he inches closer to his goal of pitching at all 30 MLB stadiums, only the Los Angeles Angels remain. It’s clear that Willis isn’t just throwing a ball; he’s tossing a message of hope, determination, and boundless possibility to everyone watching.