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Nine-year-old wins first pitch honors


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PARMA, Ohio – Nine-year-old Johnny Coventry will get the chance to do something most kids can only dream of – throwing out the first pitch at a major league baseball game. This is a moment Johnny will remember for the rest of his life.

Johnny is a member of the Boys’ Overhand League in Parma and plays for Axelrod Buick-GMC. His first-pitch dream will become reality at Parma Night, scheduled for Thursday, July 10th at 7:05 p.m.
Though the first pitch is usually reserved for the mayor, Mayor Tim DeGeeter gives up this opportunity every year to let a fortunate youngster live a dream. He created a drawing for people who ordered tickets to the Parma Night Indians game and picks a name at random to throw the first pitch.

Nicole Coventry, Johnny’s mother, and Kathy Lucheese, his grandmother, share his excitement. “[Johnny] was very surprised,” Lucheese said. “He said ‘I really hope the players sign the ball for me!’” She added that Johnny has been practicing his pitching.
“This is the third year we’ve had the drawing for the first pitch,” Mayor DeGeeter said. “When we started, we were hoping that it would increase interest in Parma Night and it has certainly done that. And it gives a lucky Parma youngster – in this case, Johnny - an opportunity he might not otherwise have had. It’s been a winner all around.”

The Indians will face off against the New York Yankees. Parma Night includes Dollar Dog Night and a Pre-Game Parade around the field for Parma Recreation baseball teams and coaches.