The Texas Rangers today announced that Robbie Parker will throw the ceremonial first pitch prior to the team's home opener on Friday, April 5 versus the Los Angeles Angels.
Mr. Parker is the father of six-year-old Emilie Parker, who was killed in the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. Twenty children and six adults died as a result of the shootings.
Mr. Parker, who grew up in North Texas, will be accompanied by his wife Alissa and daughters Madeline and Samantha for the first pitch ceremony. Mr. Parker is also a longtime Texas Rangers fan and took Emilie to several Rangers games in Arlington, Seattle, and Boston.
Through the efforts of several groups, including ESPN Dallas 103.3 and local baseball websites The Newberg Report, Lone Star Ball, and Baseball Time in Arlington, thousands of dollars have been donated by individuals in North Texas to Emilie's Fund, which assisted families of those impacted by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Mr. Parker expressed his thanks to the fans of North Texas in a message read by his brother, Keller, Texas resident Jeremie Parker, on ESPN Dallas 103.3 on January 15. The message read in part:
"I am so proud to be a Ranger fan, because I know that as a fan I actually belong to a community. I am glad I was able to share the community with my precious daughter and that the same community has reached out to her and let our family know that she is remembered and loved. Thank you for all you have done to support our family through this time. GO RANGERS!!"
The Rangers and Angels will play at 1:05 p.m. on April 5. The game is a sellout.