101-year-old Kitty Cohen winded up old-style Sunday afternoon and tossed a strike to Toronto Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole, becoming the oldest Canadian to throw a ceremonial first pitch. Her appearance at Rogers Centre also put a Mother's Day spotlight on Cohen's effort to help end women's cancers. Already having raised $20,000 by walking at least 360 kilometres (nearly 224 miles) in an annual "Weekend to End Women’s Cancers" event over six years, she plans on participating in her seventh such walk this September. It's a 30 km hike, too.
Pink ribbons and stitches on baseball do wonderfully to raise awareness, but Cohen really puts her feet into confronting cancer. CTV News reports:
"I'm tickled pink just to think we may be on the brink of finding the link to conquer women's cancers,” she said in a statement.
She says her secret to aging well is daily exercise.
"Everyone morning I get up and I have a walk," she said.
For her first pitch, the Toronto Star reports, Cohen even hustled to the mound.
She practiced throwing the baseball for a month and was crestfallen to discover she wasn’t allowed to run the bases first. However, she did get a kiss from Thole and high fives from the groundskeeping staff after she lobbed a perfectly respectable throw.
Her kids, her grandkids and even her dentist were among those cheering her on.
Cohen turns 102 later this year (here she is dancing at her 100th birthday party) meaning the first World Series with her on the planet was the Philadelphia Athletics beating the New York Giants in five games in 1913. Those teams aren't even in their original cities anymore, with the Athletics having moved twice.
In 1910, President William Howard Taft threw out the first-ever first pitch at a Major League Baseball game.
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