104-year-old veteran throws out first pitch at Fourth of July game

Local veteran throws out first pitch

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Age is just a number.

The phrase couldn't be truer for a 104-year-old World War II veteran.

Master Sergeant Frank Anderson of Blytheville threw out the first pitch at the Memphis Redbirds game Wednesday.

A man full of stories about serving his country now has a new kind of story to tell.

Westminster Village Resident Services Director Kendall Berry said they always plan trips for the residents.

And after deciding the Memphis Redbirds game would be perfect for the Fourth of July, Berry made sure it was a day that Anderson would never forget.

One phone call and a lot of practice throws later, Anderson threw out the first pitch.

"Sometimes we had some wild curves," Berry said. "And some were really nice straight ones and we got up to about 25 feet for some nice throws."

"I was beyond excited," Anderson said.

And the record crowd at the baseball game couldn't phase him.

"Because it was such a demand on me, I didn't have time to think about the crowd or anything else," Anderson said. "I had to concentrate on throwing that ball out. But I made it."

But that was just the beginning of Mr. Anderson's day at the ballfield.

He was interviewed, featured on the big screen, and even given his own inning.

"They informed the crowd that the sixth inning would be my inning," Anderson said.

The Redbirds sent him home with a few souvenirs to remember the day.

"He gave me an autographed baseball," Anderson said.

And Mr. Anderson wasn't the only one who had a day he would never forget.

For Kendall Berry, seeing Mr. Anderson having so much fun was the best part.

"Pride and joy, all Americans should be proud of our veterans," Berry said. "We should be proud that we're still here because of them. There are so many things that could have gone differently, and Frank was there."

For a man who spent nearly 30 years serving our country, throwing this pitch on the Fourth of July meant even more.

"I love my country and I love the flag and so should you," Anderson said.

Copyright 2018 KAIT. All rights reserved.