March 12, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - A group of Purple Heart Marines is attending the Arizona State vs. Utah Valley baseball game on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. (PT) at Packard Stadium, and a triple amputee is set to throw out the first pitch.
Corporal Nick Kimmel will represent these Marines in throwing out the first pitch before the game. In 2008, Cpl. Kimmel was an all-conference high school baseball player who was highly recruited out of Moses Lake, Wash. Despite being recruited by several colleges to play baseball, including ASU, Cpl. Kimmel decided to enlist in the Marine Corps on Sept. 7, 2008.
Following basic training, he became a Combat Engineer and was eventually deployed overseas to fight in the Middle East. On Dec. 1, 2011, while building a guard post in Afghanistan, he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device and lost both his legs and an arm. He was airlifted to the United States and is now recovering at the Naval Regional Medical Center in San Diego. Cpl. Kimmel is 21 years old.
For the fifth year in a row, the Marine Corps League has teamed up with Barry Zito of the Giants and his Strikeouts for Troops Foundation (http://www.strikeoutsfortroops.org) to invite battle-injured Marines to get out of the hospital and get some rest and relaxation. This year, the group is going to the ASU game on March 13, as well as several MLB Spring Training games.
Twenty-plus Purple Heart Marines attended a mid-week ASU baseball game on March 5, 2009.