Saskatchewan

7-year-old Saskatoon heart surgery survivor throws first pitch at Blue Jays game

Seven-year-old Rocky Trainor, who has gone through three open heart surgeries, got to meet the Toronto Blue Jays and throw the ceremonial first pitch before the team took on the Baltimore Orioles this week.

Rocky Trainor has already had 3 open heart surgeries

Rocky Trainor, 7, from Saskatoon got to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Toronto Blue Jays game Tuesday. (Submitted by Toronto Blue Jays)

A young Saskatchewan resident with a rare heart condition was recently tapped to throw the first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game.

Rocky Trainor threw the opening pitch — a lifelong dream for the seven-year-old Saskatoon boy — before the Jays played the Baltimore Orioles at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday. 

"Rocky was born with a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome," his dad Scott Trainor told CBC Radio's Peter Mills.

The condition limits blood flow through his heart. 

"When he was born he was airlifted about two days after birth for his first open heart surgery at about three or four days old," Scott said.

Rocky has since gone on to have two more open heart surgeries.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants children with critical illnesses wishes, made Rocky's dream come true. 

Rocky Trainor, right, learned last week he would travel to Toronto to meet the Blue Jays and throw the ceremonial first pitch before the team took on the Baltimore Orioles. (Submitted by Scott Trainor)

Scott said he first learned Rocky would get his chance about two weeks ago. That gave him and Rocky — a first baseman with a Saskatoon team — time to put in some reps throwing the ball in their backyard. 

Scott said it was pretty tough to keep things secret and plan a few elements of the trip behind Rocky's back. 

Rocky learned he'd be throwing the pitch roughly one week ago when the Make-A-Wish Foundation visited and gave him the news.

Scott said that when the time came for Rocky to throw his pitch, the kid was pretty quiet and nervous for about five minutes beforehand.

Rocky Trainor, seen here with his family and the Blue Jays mascot, threw out the first pitch for the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week. (Submitted by Scott Trainor)

Scott said Rocky is normally quiet and shy — so was a tad out of his element — but came out of his shell before the pitch. Scott said the crowd was a bit too quiet for Rocky's liking, so the boy raised his arms to pumped them up before his pitch.

Rocky wound up and threw a pitch just a bit wide to Blue Jays second baseman Cavan Biggio, but Scott was still impressed by how far his son threw the ball.

"When he delivered the pitch I might have thrown a couple of expletives out cheering him on because I was pretty dang proud of him," Scott said.

"People in Saskatoon, my phone just lit up right away, 'I just saw Rocky on TV.' [It was] pretty surreal and it was pretty awesome. Brings a tear to a guy's eye." 

LISTEN | Scott Trainor spoke with guest host Peter Mills on Saskatoon Morning:
Rocky Trainor is a bit shy, but you certainly wouldn't know it if you watched the Toronto Blue Jays games on Tuesday. Rocky threw the opening pitch at the Jays game. It was a great throw -- and what he did before that got the crowd on their feet and buzzing. Guest host Peter Mills speaks with Rocky’s father Scott Trainor to learn more about his son’s journey to the Rogers Centre diamond.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Eneas

Reporter, Indigenous Storytelling

Bryan Eneas is a journalist from the Penticton Indian Band currently based in Regina, Saskatchewan. Before joining CBC, he reported in central and northern Saskatchewan. Send news tips to Bryan.Eneas@cbc.ca.

With files from Saskatoon Morning

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