Southeast Texas veteran throwing out first pitch for Astros game on Lou Gehrig Day

Robert Thompson is a United States Air Force veteran who puts family first and holds an adoration for the game of baseball.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Southeast Texas is where heroes and legends are born, and one of those legends will have the honor of throwing the first pitch at a Houston Astros game.

Robert Thompson is a United States Air Force veteran who puts family first and holds an adoration for the game of baseball.

This Sunday on Lou Gehrig Day, at Minute Maid Park, Thompson will be on the mound.

“I feel really excited. I’m not nervous, just excited. When they finally confirmed the fact that I would be the one to throw the first pitch as I’m ready to go,” Thompson said.

Thompson was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Unlike many of the cases with this disease, he has risen above his circumstances and will not allow this form of adversity to become his identity.

“Doctor said ‘sometimes we tell someone like that they shrivel up like a flower and die within a year because they just give up.’ I’m not giving up. I am not giving up,” he said.

Thompson’s love for the game came from his early years in little league, and being a clubhouse boy for the former minor league Beaumont baseball team, the Exporters. 

“So I learned a lot about baby gram shag balls in the field with getting me and hitting I’m 11-years-old, 12-years, so that’s why I put up two good little league because I know how to catch ball and how to judge a ball,” Thompson told 12News.

But, one of Robert’s most important roles was his service in the Air Force shortly after the Vietnam War.

“I went to boot camp in Lackland, Air Force Base in San Antonio, and then was sent to Biloxi, and I was there [for]two years and three months. I was in the service and they didn’t need my MO anymore. So they said well, you can go home,” said Thompson.

Thompson will be joined by family and friends for his big moment just before the ballgame on April 2.

Also on 12NewsNow.com…

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