Boy with cancer throws opening pitch on dream mound

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kanta Utsunomiya throws the first pitch before a game at Zozo Marine Stadium, on Sunday.

Kanta Utsunomiya, 11, who joined the Chiba Lotte Marines through a charity that supports children undergoing medical long-term treatment, threw out the first pitch before a game against the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles at Zozo Marine Stadium in Chiba on Sunday.

Utsunomiya, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was 4 years old and is still undergoing treatment, joined the team in June through the NPO Being ALIVE Japan. He took to the mound in a uniform with the number 10 on the back and threw a no-bounce pitch.

“I was nervous the whole time and my hands were shaking, but I was able to throw the pitch on the fly because I practiced a lot for today,” he said.