Triple amputee vet to throw pitch at Rays game - WFLA News Channel 8

Triple amputee vet to throw pitch at Rays game

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Sgt. Michael Nicholson lost both legs and part of his arm in an IED attack in Afghanistan Sgt. Michael Nicholson lost both legs and part of his arm in an IED attack in Afghanistan
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A Marine sergeant who lost both his legs and part of his right arm in Afghanistan will throw out the first pitch at Monday evening's Rays game.

Sgt. Michael Nicholson was injured on July 6, 2011 in an IED attack.  He was medically discharged from the Marines, and is waiting for a smart home to be build by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation in South Tampa. 

Monday afternoon, Nicholson practiced throwing out pitches at his parents' Tampa home on Barcelona Street with George Siller, the Vice-Chair of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.  The foundation honors the memory of his brother, FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller, who died on 9/11 after running to Ground Zero through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel with 65 pounds of gear on his back.

Siller says the organization started as a 9/11 foundation, and then expanded after they built a smart home for a Staten Island Marine who'd lost all four limbs.

"We built him a smart home 'cause he was a local guy, and next thing you know, we said we gotta do this for all the guys, or as many as we can," said Siller.

Nicholson is looking forward to his new house.

"You can know going home that you're gonna be able to get in your house just fine, you know, after a long day at work, you can just go there, and know that everything there is made for you," he said.

In between practice pitches, Nicholson also had a message of comfort for people who lost limbs in the Boston Marathon bombings.

"It's gonna be tough at first but when you get down to it, the good days definitely outnumber the bad, as you get farther down the line," said Nicholson.

Sgt. Nicholson will throw out the first pitch of tonight's Rays-Yankees game at Tropicana Field at 7:00 PM.

Although Nicholson appreciates everything the New York-based Tunnel to Towers Foundation has done for him, he's still cheering for the Rays to beat the Yankees.

"Rays all the way!" said Nicholson.

New Tampa Bay Buccaneer Darrelle Revis will also throw a ceremonial first pitch before tonight's game.

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