The San Diego Padres' ceremonial first pitch on Sunday was tossed out by 105-year-old fan Agnes McKee, earning her a large cheer from the Petco Park crowd before team's game against the visiting New York Mets.
McKee, who recently celebrated her birthday at Fairwinds-Ivey Ranch Retirement Community in Oceanside, California, a few days earlier, had planned to attend the game with several others, according to Major League's baseball's website.
Fairwinds-Ivey's staffer Sheila Alston called the Padres to ask if they had an interest in having McKee throw out the first pitch in honor of her 105th birthday, reported MLB.com. The team jumped on the idea.
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"From there, it just exploded," said Jane McKee, Agnes' daughter.
Agnes McKee's late husband Harry, who died in 2008 at age 99, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, providing the tie-in for the game at which the Padres were honoring the military.
"It's very exciting," Agnes McKee told KGTV
before strolling onto the field with her walker. "I'm very honored to be allowed to do that. I have no idea what's going to happen I hope everything goes well."
With an underhand toss she had practiced at the retirement community, McKee threw a perfect ball to Padres catcher Rene Rivera.
In an interview with KSWB-TV
last week before her big first pitch, she said it was her husband who was the big baseball fan and player. McKee said she would rather do art, bridge games and have a classic martini.
McKee said when she learned he would perform the ceremonial first pitch, she tried to brush up a little on her baseball and San Diego Padres knowledge.
"After this happened, I tried to learn the names of some of the players in case someone asked me," McKee said. "I haven't been very into the Padres because they don't ever win any games."
As far as the most common question she gets asked – how do you get to live to be 100? – McKee said it's anyone's guess.
"I have no idea how I got to be this old," she told KSWB-TV with a laugh. "I tell people I enjoy life. … "My main goal is being able to walk again without a walker. My doctor said I won't be able to do that but I've tried. I enjoy every day as it comes along."
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