One more first pitch

Elmer Lint’s baseball glove is 71 years old. His blanket from the Battle of the Bulge is almost just as old.

On Tuesday, he brought them both to the ballpark.

Lint, an 87-year-old World War II veteran and former minor league baseball player, relived his glory days Tuesday night at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory — if only for one pitch.

As the sun set behind the ballpark, Lint, a Conover resident, was helped through the shadows to the Hickory Crawdads' mound to throw out the game’s first pitch.

The crowd stood and cheered him on.

Lint, who is nearly blind, took a few steps toward the plate, raised his arm and tossed the ball toward the call of the most recognizable voice he knew — his daughter, Greta’s. It was a one-skip strike.

The crowd cheered again. It was the first pitch he’d thrown in nearly 50 years, he says.

To read more of this story, pick up the Friday edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.