Chances are you won’t meet a more extraordinary guy than Tom Willis today. If you collected Topps 2015 ‘First Pitch’ insert set, you may have seen him.
Born without arms, the San Diego resident nevertheless learned to drive a car and do just about everything the rest of us can—including throw a baseball. Willis, who runs a video production company and does motivational speaking, has thrown out the first pitch—with his feet—in all but a few parks across Major League Baseball.
Earlier this year, David Schmidt from Valdosta, GA, sold a First Pitch card of Willis on eBay. The buyer’s name was…Tom Willis. Given 100 cards by Topps, Willis quickly went through them and then hit eBay, buying extras. Schmidt contacted Willis and was told Atlanta is one place Willis had yet to throw out the first pitch.
Using a big league contact, a friend of Schmidt’s wife was able to land Willis an invitation.
Dean Poling chronicled the story of how it all came together with this story in the Valdosta Daily Times.