Before Saturday night’s record-breaking playoff game started at Nationals Park in Washington, retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Brian Keaton made history of his own when he became the first man to throw a first pitch like he was lobbing a grenade on the battlefield.
And he brought a smile to the faces of baseball lovers everywhere.
On Monday, Keaton sat down with “Fox and Friends” Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Steve Doocy to talk about what led up to the night, how it came about, and most of all, what he wrote on the mound at the end of that famous toss.
But what he won’t tell you is how he ended up at Walter Reed hospital.
Check out the interview here, via Fox.
“I didn’t do anything that nobody else hasn’t done,” Keaton told Hasselbeck and Doocy. “War, man, whatever.”
Actually, Keaton’s done quite a bit more than most of us.
A Washington Times 2010 article about his trip to the Nationals’ first playoff game told the rest of the story. The Kentucky native enlisted in 1993 and served numerous through 2008, that included experiences only a career warrior can talk about.
“I got blown up a lot,” he told the Times. “I just got blown up like 20 times. Somehow, I walked out with my legs and my arms. But it got my brain pretty bad.”
That led to a problem with brain seizures and a stint at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Keaton learned to recover – and became a Nationals fan in the process, under doctor’s orders no less.
Saturday night’s game stretched well into Sunday morning – an 18-inning, 6 hour and 23 minute contest that’s the longest in MLB history. And it ended in a Nationals loss to put them two down in the best of five series.
But the memory’s going to live with Keaton – and anyone who saw it, either live or on the repeats that aired around the country.
“It was awesome,” Keaton told Hasselbeck and Doocy. “It’s every baseball fan’s dream to do something like that.”
But every baseball fan could do it as a hero.
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