Wounded Marine speaks on World Series experience

Cpl. Nicholas Kimmel injured in Afghanistan

SAN DIEGO - A Wounded Warrior who threw out the first pitch at a World Series game explains how his training and baseball are helping him regain his life.

Last week, Marine Cpl. Nicholas Kimmel was chose to throw out the first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series in San Francisco. Having lost both legs and an arm from an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, Kimmel tossed a perfect strike.

Kimmel is undergoing rehabilitation therapy at Naval Medical Center San Diego, but he is no stranger to baseball or being asked to throw out the first pitch.  

"I did it with the Padres at Petco Park," he said, but this was his first World Series toss.

That he threw a perfect strike may have surprised some, but Kimmel used to play varsity baseball in high school before he joined the Marines, and it was his training as a Marine that helped him concentrate.

"All the stuff we go through to prepare for missions, you sort of tune that part of your brain out and you don't get nervous," he said.

Kimmel did admit that the enormity of what he did began to sink in after he sat down to watch the game.  

Kimmel was hurt in December 2011 while deployed as a combat engineer -- his second deployment.

Kimmel got to know big league ballplayers through the Strikeouts for Troops program started by Giants pitcher Barry Zito. It was through that group Kimmel was able to attend spring training games and the National League Championship Series.

"I was driving up for the NLCS when I got a call from Barry's publicist asking if I would represent veterans by tossing the first pitch for the second game," said Kimmel.

Kimmel, who hails from Moses Lake, Wash., hopes to one day be involved in baseball fulltime as a photographer.

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