Air Force veteran lives out ‘childhood dream’ by throwing first pitch with Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Published: Jul. 18, 2021 at 11:00 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Pelicans paid special tribute to those who have served our country Saturday night.

The team held its Military Appreciation game as part of a doubleheader against the Columbia Fireflies, donning special red, white and blue uniforms for the occasion.

The Pelicans also honored those in attendance, but one lucky man got to live out a childhood dream at the ballpark.

“Who’s dream wouldn’t it be? To get first pitch at my hometown’s game,” said Air Force Cpt. Ben Boyle.

Boyle threw out the first pitch before Saturday’s second game and was understandably feeling a little nervous.

“You know at my age; you only have one good left arm so I’m saving it for the right moment. And that’s today,” he said.

Boyle has served multiple tours in the Middle East, including time as a C-130 navigator.

He said the only thing that reminded him of home when he was overseas, was his special Myrtle Beach Pelicans hat inside his jet.

He shared the image of his hat with others on Facebook, eventually catching the team’s attention.

One thing led to another, but it all led up to Saturday’s big moment.

Boyle’s big return home has been warm, especially since he got to see his father, Dan, again.

“I’m extremely proud of him,” Dan said. “I grew up in Vietnam and it was a different world. It’s good to see that the attitude has changed.”

Dan also said each time he looked at his son, he was lost with words and shared his tears of joy.

A baseball game was just what they needed to make good memories.

The Boyle family came just in time to see Ben pitch his first game at the pitching mound.

“I grew up watching baseball games quite often, we are huge baseball fans,” said Ben. “Having the moment with my dad is very special,” said Ben.

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