Watch CBSN Live

8-year-old with 3D-printed hand throws out her 12th first pitch at MLB stadium

Hailey Dawson, an 8-year-old with a one-of-a-kind pitching hand, delivered the first pitch at the Milwaukee Brewers game Monday night -- her 12th opening pitch at a Major League Baseball game, CBS Milwaukee affiliate WDJT reports.

Hailey, an energetic girl from Nevada, was born with a rare birth defect called Poland syndrome and is missing fingers on her right hand. But that doesn't stop Hailey -- she wants to throw the first pitch at all 30 MLB stadiums. And she's well on her way.

Haley took on the challenge after gaining national attention when she threw the first pitch at Game 4 of the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros.

With a traditional prosthetic potentially costing thousands of dollars, Hailey's mom, Yong Dawson, turned for help near their hometown, reaching out to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Engineering students there designed a 3D-printed hand just for Hailey, which gives her the ability to grip and grab while she grows.

"Initially the hand was supposed to be functional, but it's become a confidence thing for her," her mom told WDJT. 

Several prototypes and fittings later, Hailey got her first hand almost four years ago. Since then, doctors and researchers at the school have printed multiple hands for the 8-year-old -- at least one for each MLB team she's pitched for.

"I move my wrist down and it closes. When I move my wrist up it opens," Hailey explained to the station.

Each bionic hand costs only a couple hundred dollars and takes about a week to make, according to UNLV. Hailey likely will need a new hand each year as she grows. Its creators hope the technology can help other kids like Hailey, too.

Right next to throwing the pitch, Hailey's mom told WDJT her favorite part of going to the ballparks is talking, dancing and singing with the players. Hailey even busted out her "floss" dance moves with Brewers pitcher Jeremy Jeffress ahead of Monday's game.

"It's been an experience -- something that 20 years down the line she can talk about to her kids one day," Yong said.

When Hailey set out to conquer every ballpark in the league, many of MLB teams tweeted out invites. Hailey's family is tracking her "journey to 30" with a Twitter account, Instagram page and a hashtag: #JourneyTo30

Hailey's next stop? The home of the Chicago White Sox on June 12, where she'll toss her 13th pitch. According to her schedule, she'll wrap up her tour of the MLB stadiums by September

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome browser logo Chrome Safari browser logo Safari Continue