CLEVELAND (WJW) — Before Game 1 of the AL Wild Card series between the Guardians and Rays begins at Progressive Field Friday, a special fan will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Pete Knab, 26, is a well-documented Guardians superfan. But this season, he took it to another level. He attended 123 games this year, all while navigating them with cerebral palsy.
“I never thought this would happen,” he said. “To not only be throwing out the first pitch but the first pitch of a playoff game.”
Knab has attended 46 games on the road and 77 at home.
“I love the effort they’ve shown all year,” he said. “That helps feed me a bit to keep traveling. These past few weeks have been incredible. I got to see them clinch the division on the road in Texas, and I got to go down to the field.
The youngest team in baseball, the Guardians have overcome the odds. It’s a lot like Knab, who refuses to be defined by his cerebral palsy.
“It’s a grind,” he said. “It’s tough on the body. It’s a tough travel schedule, but I enjoy the challenge.”
He said he’ll have to calm his nerves and take some deep breaths before his big moment.
“I can’t believe that it’s happening,” he said. “I can’t promise it will be a strike. Either way, whether it’s a strike or not, it will be one heck of a day.”
First pitch Friday and Saturday is at 12:07 p.m. If a game Sunday is necessary, it will start at 4:07 p.m.
The Guardians went 4-2 against the Rays this season.