Agnes McKee has been warming up for a couple months now, grabbing a baseball in her right hand, propping herself up against her walker and tossing the ball underhand to a staff member from the San Diego-area retirement community she calls home.
Her big day will come Sunday, when McKee steps on the field at Petco Park and throws the first pitch at the San Diego Padres game. No matter how close she gets the ball to the plate or whether it's a strike, McKee certainly won't get any boos.
She's not 50 cent. She's 105 — as in years old.
Her Oceanside retirement community, Fairwinds, had planned an outing a few months ago to Sunday's Padres game. One of the staff members at Fairwinds asked if McKee, their oldest resident, could toss the first pitch since it would be just a few days after her 105th birthday, which was Wednesday.
It worked out perfectly. The Padres honor the military at Sunday home games, and McKee's husband, Harry, was a veteran and a baseball lover. He died six years ago. So now, it will be an honor for both of them. From the U-T San Diego:
“He would be so proud,” she said about her upcoming pitch. “He would not be surprised at all. He always knew I was up for an adventure.”
First pitches at MLB games, of course, can attract plenty of scrutiny when they end hilariously. But it would go against McKee's life philosophy to skip this out of fear. Again, from the U-T San Diego:
"Be happy," she said in a video interview. "Take advantage of everything that comes along. Don't pass up anything. Because life is too short ... Whatever comes along, I'm ready."
That's why after Sunday's first pitch, as McKee told reporters, she'll be indulging in two more ballpark traditions. She wants to eat a hot dog and drink a beer.
You go, Agnes.
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