David Iery, a Lewis County native who was paralyzed as a result of a collision at home plate in his senior year of high school in a 1989 baseball game, will be an honorary captain at tonight’s Dodgers-Reds games in Great American Ball Park.
Iery will take part in the umpires and coaches meeting at home plate before the first pitch according to a story in the Maysville Ledger Independent.
Iery was injured when he slide in headfirst during a game against East Carter. For the past two years, Lewis County’s baseball team has hosted the David Iery Classic against the Raiders in Vanceburg.
Iery went to GABP for the first time last year and his sister helped put the plan in motion to get him on the field.
He had originally selected a Cardinals game but when that didn’t work out switched to the Dodgers, not knowing that ESPN was picking it up for national telecast. The game starts at 8 p.m.
Iery said he wanted to throw out the first pitch but changed his mind when he learned he couldn’t toss it from the mound.
“But then I found out if I did that, I'd have to throw it out in front of the dugout, wouldn't be able to get out on the mound,” Iery told the Maysville newspaper. “And then they said, ‘How about captain of the game?’ and they told me what that entails, and I said, ‘You know, that wouldn't be too bad,’ going out, bringing the lineup card out, maybe with (Reds first base coach) Billy Hatcher before the game, and that kind of stuff, so I thought that would be even better.”
Iery said the Lewis County community has shown excitement that one of their own will be honored in Cincinnati. He said an allotment of 500 tickets was sold within a month of being provided in April.
“We've got a Greyhound bus that's picking people up at Tollesboro Elementary School,” Iery said. “Fifty-five people’s gonna ride the bus, and there's even people from Martin County that bought, like, 70 tickets, and that's a three-and-a-half-hour drive for them, so they'll really be getting home late.”