Cubs fan, 104, seeks to throw first pitch

Aug. 11, 2008 at 4:51 PM
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CHICAGO, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- A 104-year-old diehard Chicago Cubs fan said he is lobbying the team to allow him to throw out the first pitch at a game during the team's expected playoff run.

Leo Hildebrand, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Bensenville, said he attempted to get a slot throwing out the first pitch during last year's season, but team officials told him all slots had been filled, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

Now, he said, he is focusing on the upcoming playoff possibilities for his first trip to the pitcher's mound.

"He can't wait much longer," said Hildebrand's daughter, Arlene Burm, 69.

Cubs spokesman Jason Carr said the ball club gives ample consideration to all first-pitch requests, but there are only so many games each season and not every request can be filled.

"Due to the large number of requests and suggestions, and given the limited opportunities, it's difficult to accommodate everyone," Carr said. "We have so many deserving fans -- including Leo Hildebrand -- but can't get to them all."

In the meantime, Hildebrand said, he will continue to practice his fastball and sidearm in front of his home.

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