Hayden native will throw first pitch of SEC championship



Perry Killingsworth’s Little League dreams will come true on Sunday. During the SEC baseball tournament championship game, he has been granted the privilege to toss out the first pitch.

The Hayden native was chosen to throw the first pitch by the Lakeshore Foundation, a facility for people with physical disabilities. The non-profit organization, located in Birmingham, specializes in spinal cord therapy and that’s how Killingsworth found himself there two months ago. In the fall of 1983, Killingsworth broke his back in Germany while serving in the Army. That injury has continually progressed.

At Lakeshore, Killingsworth is a part of Operation Endurance, a scholarship/ membership opportunity for injured military veterans to maintain a daily fitness program.

As a child, he played baseball, and then after serving in the military he began playing co-ed softball. However, because of his back injury, he says he hasn’t thrown a ball in almost seven years. Even though he says he was nervous to begin with, Killingsworth says he has been practicing with the Hayden High School baseball team and it’s all coming back to him now.

“I’ve never done anything like this,” Killingsworth said. “It’s so cool.”

The championship game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., on Sunday and set to be shown on ESPN 2, according to the SEC network website.