Think throwing a strike on a baseball diamond is easy? Try throwing the ball with your feet.
Tom Willis was born without arms or hands, and learned to use his feet to write and throw a baseball.
The 64-year-old San Diego resident has gotten so skilled at the latter that he’s thrown the first pitch at 29 different Major League Baseball stadiums since 2015 ― all with his right foot.
Twelve of the throws to home plate were for strikes.
“The radar gun has tagged me as fast as 31 mph, but I’m not aiming for speed, I’m trying to get it over the plate,” Willis told HuffPost before he threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday before the team played the Toronto Blue Jays.
Willis has made it his goal to throw first pitches at all 30 MLB stadiums. With Tuesday’s toss, only Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, remains.
Willis isn’t just pitching for kicks. It’s part of his “Pitch for Awareness” campaign, where the former TV producer raises awareness about how disabled people adapt to obstacles and how there should be reasonable accommodation for all people to participate in everyday life.
His motto, according to the New York Post: “No hands, no arms, no problem.”
Tom Willis throws the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, in New York City.
Although Willis has thrown out the first pitch 28 times before, doing so at Yankee Stadium was a bucket list moment for the San Diego resident.
“It’s hallowed ground for a baseball fan. With the richest history,” he said.
The tweet below shows Willis making the pitch.
“I bounced it, so it wasn’t one of my best pitches,” Willis conceded. “But it was one of my best experiences.”
Tom Willis was born without arms, but that didn’t stop him from throwing out tonight’s ceremonial first pitch 🔥
Tonight marks the 29th MLB ballpark he has thrown a first pitch at during his national “Pitch for Awareness” tour to shine a light on the abilities of persons with… pic.twitter.com/qrk5lWooez
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 19, 2023
Oh, and hopefully it convinces the Angels to let him throw out a first pitch at one of their home games next season.