8-year-old with 3-D printed hand throws first pitch at SF Giants game

- 8-year-old Hailey Dawson is a major baseball fan with lots of spunk and big dreams, who wins hearts wherever she goes. On Sunday, it was the San Francisco Giants and their fans who got to experience some of her exuberant energy when she threw out the first pitch at AT&T Park for the game against the Dodgers.

She took the mound with a lot of flare and threw out the pitch with help from a prosthetic hand fabricated with a 3D printer.

The Las Vegas girl was born without three fingers on her right hand stemming from a rare condition called Poland Syndrome. 

But she hasn't let anything stop her from taking part in things other kids her age are doing, and then some.

She's set out to help others like herself break barriers and seek out their dreams through her "Journey to 30 First Pitch Tour," during which she plans to throw out a first pitch at every Major League Baseball Stadium.

Through the tour, Hailey and her family hope to raise awareness about Poland Syndrome and about how robotic hands can help those who don't have full use their hands. 

"Because of her, a few kids have received a robotic hand after they saw her story," her mother Yong Dawson told KTVU.

Hailey received her 3D printed robotic hand in 2014. It was created for her by the engineering school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (Researchers at UNLV have since fitted her with multiple specialized robotic hands, including one made for her visit with the Giants.) 

It was shortly after she received her prosthetic that then 5-year-old Hailey had her first opportunity to be a team's guest of honor to ceremonially mark the start of game-time with a pitch. It would be for UNLV's baseball team.

It wasn't until years later, she started her "Journey to 30" project.

Last year, she took the mound for Game 4 of the World Series in Houston. Prior to that, she played the role of guest pitcher for teams including her beloved the Baltimore Orioles-- dad's hometown team.   

Hailey's AT&T stop was the fifth of the 30 ballpark visits she is planning to make for her "First Pitch Tour."

And she certainly left an impression during her visit here when she sealed the pitch with a dab dance-move at the end.

When asked whether Hailey gets nervous standing before tens of thousands of cheering baseball fans at the start of a game, her mother said her daughter does not mind the attention. "She's all good with that," Yong Dawson said.

Hailey has aspirations to be an actress one day and by all indications it appears she won't back down when it comes to going after her dreams. 

She's set to return to the Bay Area on June 7, as part of her tour, when she'll take the mound at the Oakland Coliseum as the A's face the Kansas City Royals.

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