Collazo and fans
Thursday, July 5, 2012
On June 27, the Staten Island Yankees- a minor league baseball team – had a special pitcher at the mound.
Edward Collazo, an Army Veteran who receives care at VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn Campus, threw out the first pitch to a crowd of thousands.
The pitch was on Collazo’s bucket list – sort of.
After being diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, Collazzo, who served as an Artilleryman in the Army for eight years, wrote his bucket list – among the items on the list was to throw out the first pitch at a New York Yankees game. After several attempts to persuade the Bronx Bombers to have Collazo at the mound, a team of VA professionals began to seek other opportunities.
Fortunately, the Staten Island Yankees - or Baby Bombers – came through, welcoming Collazo last week for the ceremonial pitch.
Behind him, his image and name appeared on the jumbo screen for all to see. With the team’s mascot, Scooter the Holy Cow, SI Yanks staff, friends, and VA staff cheering him on, Collazo made the first pitch.
“It was great,” Collazo exclaimed, walking off the field moments after the pitch with his souvenir baseball. “It’s a beautiful night.”
In addition to being a baseball fan, Collazo serves his community as an NYPD Auxiliary Police Officer and continues to pursue a PhD in Civil Engineering at New York University.