Polk volunteer of the year gets honor from Tampa Bay Rays - WFLA News Channel 8

Polk volunteer of the year gets honor from Tampa Bay Rays

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Polk County Volunteer of the Year Corey "Ralph" Cowart will soon enjoy another special honor. The Tampa Bay Rays have invited the 30-year-old to throw out the first pitch at an upcoming home game.

We first told you Cowart's story on Monday.  Since then he's been getting lots of positive feedback from viewers and readers.

On Facebook Kimberly Johnston wrote, "Ralph is an awesome person and is always at the Highland City Baseball Field helping with the kids."

Carol Gibson Jacobs wrote, "Ralph is always there working hard for the kids." 

One message in particular meant the world to Cowart. It came in to News Channel 8 from the Tampa Bay Rays.

"I heard you say that he is a huge Rays fan and his dream is to throw out the first pitch at a Rays game," wrote Rays Communications Coordinator Carli Todd. "I would like to make this happen." 

We broke the news to Cowart at the Highlands City Babe Ruth Baseball Complex where he cares for the grounds each day.  When asked if he was available to throw out the first pitch at a Rays game Cowart laughed nervously and said, "yeah."

Little league president Rob Wiegert says the honor means the world to Cowart.

"It's just a big honor for him, and this is a small thing that they're getting to pay him back with," Wiegert said. "I mean we can't do enough for what he does." 

The Rays are now working with Cowart to finalize a date for his first pitch opportunity. 


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