Former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith took to the pitcher’s mound Saturday, not to toss the ceremonial first pitch, but to surprise his sister who had that honor.
The Tampa Bay Rays invited Marsha Smith-Hill, a breast cancer survivor and Tallahassee resident, to throw out the pitch before their game against the Baltimore Orioles. Little did she know, her Hall of Fame brother was going to be there.
“I could cry because I had just spoken to him yesterday, and did not know that he was going to be here,” she told reporters.
She received a little coaching from Smith on the phone, and it paid off. It was a perfect strike.
“I was actually talking to her on the phone yesterday about throwing the pitch out. How to throw the pitch, how to work on it and take the time to practice—and she actually threw the pitch out fairly well. And I’m proud of her as a brother, and more proud of her the way that she fought through cancer and made it back to where she’s at right now, so I’m pretty stoked.”
Have a look at the surprise:
— Emmitt Smith (@EmmittSmith22) June 25, 2017
As for her perspective on cancer?
“I knew it was part of my journey,” she said. “Cancer claimed me. I didn’t claim cancer, so I told cancer, ‘You have a helluva fight on your hands. I’m not going down that easy.'”