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Meissner delivers first pitch for O's04/14/2006 7:36 PM ET
By Jeff Seidel / Special to MLB.com
BALTIMORE --- Kimmie Meissner certainly looked like a big-league pitcher when she went to the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's game between the Orioles and Angels.
Wearing an Orioles home jersey with her name on the back -- along with the number "1" -- Meissner played the role perfectly. She immediately faced third base, came to the set position, paused and threw. The ball was a little high and outside, but Meissner loved it. She gleefully threw her arms up in celebration as the crowd roared.
Meissner is a perfectionist -- at figure skating and throwing out the first ball in a baseball game. She thought that she could have done better when throwing out the first pitch at Philadelphia's opener last week, so the 16-year-old went to work. The Bel Air resident practiced and worked to get ready for this game.
"I feel good about my pitching," Meissner said a few minutes before the first pitch."I'm much better than I was when I first started."Meissner certainly looked like a pitcher on this night. She had on the Orioles jersey with a cap turned backwards and tan shorts. The crowd gave her a huge ovation, and Meissner played to it perfectly. They cheered loudly when she threw the pitch to Oriole pitcher John Halama.
Meissner suddenly became a celebrity when making the 2006 Olympics in Italy in February. The Fallston High School student then topped that by winning at the World Championship in Calgary. Those are the things that have changed her world -- and schedule.
After tonight's ceremonial first pitch, Meissner will be heading to the White House on Monday to read for children at the annual Easter Egg Roll. But she's trying to keep her life as normal as possible.
"It hasn't changed that drastically," Meissner said. "My friends still treat me the same."
Meissner has been to only a few Oriole games in her life. But she clearly enjoyed this. Meissner stayed after throwing out the first pitch to sign autographs for fans.
"Lately I've signed a lot of autographs," Meissner said with a smile.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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