Seven-year-old Hailey Dawson has a custom, 3D printed hand. She's using her innovative, super cool hand to throw out the first pitch a MLB ballparks throughout the country.
Dawson was born with Poland Syndrome, a rare birth defect that caused her dominant hand to form without three fingers. Her mom wanted her to have the opportunity to have a fully functioning hand, so she sent an email to the University of Nevada, explaining her daughter's situation.
Brendan O'Toole, the chair of mechanical engineering at UNLV, and fellow engineers took on the project right away.
"How could you say no to this?" O'Toole said in a 2014 statement. "The project combines mechanics, robotics, and we get the added bonus of helping someone." At the time, Dawson was only four years old.
After her new hand was 3D printed, she was finally able to play her favorite sport — baseball. She taught herself to hold and throw a baseball, and became such a huge fan of the sport, she decided that she wanted to throw out the first pitch at every single MLB ballpark. A big feat for a seven-year-old? Yes. Attainable? For Dawson, absolutely.
Bleacher Report tweeted a video of Dawson showing off how her 3D printed hand works. The video shows Dawson throwing out the first pitch at an Orioles and Nationals game.
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Word spread throughout the MLB community, and teams began tweeting their invites for Dawson to do the same for them. She has heard from the Detroit Tigers, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Atlanta Braves, the New York Mets, the Seattle Mariners, the San Francisco Giants, the San Diego Padres, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs, and several other teams.
Airlines and hotels even tweeted their generous offers to have Dawson's whole family fly and stay for free.
Dawson has no doubt been practicing her curveball. She's already everyone's favorite player, and chances are, she'll be bringing her skills to an MLB ballpark near you.