Portland man with rare condition throws out first pitch at game - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland man with rare condition throws out first pitch at Mariners game

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Sam Bridgman at Safeco Field Sam Bridgman at Safeco Field
Sam Bridgman Sam Bridgman

A rare condition may have taken away his ability to play competitive baseball, but the sport has never left Sam Bridgman's heart.

The University of Portland graduate has baseball stitches tattooed around his wrist, along with the words "Seek a Miracle. Impossible is nothing."

It's a daily reminder to keep moving forward.

Bridgman, now a Portland resident, was diagnosed with Friedrich's Ataxia as a teenager.

The rare condition, which affects his muscle coordination from his toes to his fingertips, means he uses a wheelchair most of the time.

Video of his college graduation went viral last year when Bridgman, with the help of his strength and conditioning coaches, walked across the stage to pick up his diploma.

Last week, Bridgman's Seattle-area high school selected him to throw out the first pitch at a Seattle Mariners game.

"Being on the field and throwing the first pitch really gave me that, really allowed me to keep moving forward and know that baseball is always going to be there for me," he said.

Bridgman said the moment was very special because he shared it with family and friends sitting in the ballpark.

"I kind looked up at them and took a deep breath and just tried not to throw it like really high or something," he said.

Bridgman has participated in events to raise awareness of Friedrich's Ataxia and to raise money for research into the disease.

He is preparing for a Ride Ataxia event in Seattle this summer and said plans are underway for a fundraiser in Portland.

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