World War II vet fulfills goal of pitching at Wrigley Field

May 31, 2015 5:34 PM by Sarkis Nigolian

CHICAGO (AP) - More than 70 years after he hoped to make his major league debut, a World War II veteran has fulfilled his goal of pitching at Wrigley Field.

Tony Gianunzio walked to the mound Sunday and threw out the first ball before the Cubs hosted the Kansas City Royals.

Wearing a Cubs cap, the 92-year-old Gianunzio threw from just in front of the rubber. His pitch reached the plate on a couple of bounces.

Gianunzio was a teenage pitching prospect and being looked at by the Cubs when he joined the U.S. Coast Guard. He didn't return to baseball after the war.

Gianunzio lives in the area of Kalamazoo, Michigan. He taught English and writing in high school for nearly 40 years.

His ceremonial pitch, by the way, was better than the one thrown by actor Joe Mantegna before the game. His toss bounced several times and was way wide of the plate.

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