Chance Veazey is looking forward to the First Pitch opportunity at Turner Field Friday.
Aug. 30, 2012
ATHENS-----The Turner Field crowd Friday will see Atlanta left-hander Mike Minor versus Philadelphia right-hander Roy Halladay, but it will be Georgia's Chance Veazey who will throw out the first pitch.
Veazey, a Tifton native majoring in risk management, said he is excited about getting the pregame honor that came about as part of the inaugural UGA Game Ball Relay (GBR). The GBR was set up to raise money this year for the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, which specializes in spinal cord and brain injuries. Veazey was a patient at Shepherd in 2009 after an accident on campus at UGA ended his baseball playing career.
"I'm a little nervous about throwing out the first pitch, the last time I did it was against Ole Miss in 2010 here at Foley Field," said Veazey. "I've always been a huge Braves fan, and I'm thankful for this opportunity."
Veazey is slated to be in Atlanta for the GBR, a 24-hour relay that will deliver the game ball to Sanford Stadium for the season-opening football contest between the Bulldogs and the Buffalo Bulls. The GBR is a joint effort between the Relay of Heroes, LLC, as well as the University of Georgia Athletic Association. Relay of Heroes, LLC is responsible for planning and executing the GBR. In accordance with its mission, Relay of Heroes has chosen Shepherd Center as this year's direct beneficiary.
"It feels special to be a part of something as big as the first Bulldog football game of the season and be able to promote it at the Braves game too," said Veazey. "I'm glad to help out and support the Shepherd Center and Georgia because they have supported me. They were there for me and for J.T. (Johnathan Taylor) too. The Georgia football team supported me with helmet stickers and t-shirts, and it meant a lot. I'd like to thank Greg Walker (Braves hitting coach) too; he's a great friend and a class act. He has helped me experience being a part of a Major League club first when he was in Chicago with the White Sox. I went up there and saw him and Gordon (Beckham) for a series with the Yankees, and now I'll get to do that with the Braves on Friday."
For the past two seasons, Veazey has served as a student assistant with the Bulldog baseball program.
"After my injury, I'm not playing any more, but I'm still a part of the team and that means a lot," Veazey said. "They are family, and I try to do my part to help out and be around them for support."