7-year-old Saskatoon heart surgery survivor throws first pitch at Blue Jays game

·2 min read
Rocky Trainor, 7, from Saskatoon got to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Toronto Blue Jays game Tuesday. (Submitted by Toronto Blue Jays - image credit)
Rocky Trainor, 7, from Saskatoon got to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Toronto Blue Jays game Tuesday. (Submitted by Toronto Blue Jays - image credit)

A young Saskatchewan resident with a rare heart condition was recently tapped to throw the first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game.

Rocky Trainor threw the opening pitch — a life-long dream for the seven-year-old Saskatoon boy — before the Jays played the Baltimore Orioles at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday.

"Rocky was born with a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome," his dad Scott Trainor told CBC Radio's Peter Mills.

The condition limits blood flow through his heart.

"When he was born he was airlifted about two days after birth for his first open heart surgery at about three or four days old," Scott said.

Rocky has since gone on to have two more open heart surgeries.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants children with critical illnesses wishes, made Rocky's dream come true.

Submitted by Scott Trainor
Submitted by Scott Trainor

Scott said he first learned Rocky would get his chance about two weeks ago. That gave him and Rocky  — a first baseman with a Saskatoon team — time to put in some reps throwing the ball in their backyard.

Scott said it was pretty tough to keep things secret and plan a few elements of the trip behind Rocky's back.

Rocky learned he'd be throwing the pitch roughly one week ago when Make-A-Wish Foundation visited and gave him the news.

Scott said that when the time came for Rocky to throw his pitch, the kid was pretty quiet and nervous for about five minutes beforehand.

Submitted by Scott Trainor
Submitted by Scott Trainor

Scott said Rocky is normally quiet and shy, so he was a tad out of his element, but came out of his shell before the pitch. Scott said the crowd was a bit too quiet for Rocky's liking, so the boy raised his arms to pumped them up before his pitch.

Rocky wound up and threw a pitch just a bit wide to Blue Jays' second baseman Cavan Biggio, but Scott was still impressed by how far he threw the ball.

"When he delivered the pitch I might have thrown a couple of expletives out cheering him on because I was pretty dang proud of him," Scott said.

"People in Saskatoon, my phone just lit up right away, 'I just saw Rocky on TV.' [It was] pretty surreal and it was pretty awesome. Brings a tear to a guy's eye."

LISTEN | Scott Trainor spoke with guest host Peter Mills on Saskatoon Morning: