ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 146

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Having a ball

Holocaust survivor aged 100 throws first pitch for Tampa Bay Rays

Helen Kahan, who survived Auschwitz, given birthday honor at game against New York Yankees; Florida team has partnership with local Holocaust museum where she is a volunteer

Screen capture from video of 100-year-old Holocaust survivor Helen Kahan, who threw out the first pitch of a Tampa Bay Rays game on May 5, 2023. (Twitter. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Screen capture from video of 100-year-old Holocaust survivor Helen Kahan, who threw out the first pitch of a Tampa Bay Rays game on May 5, 2023. (Twitter. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Holocaust survivor Helen Kahan celebrated her 100th birthday Friday by throwing the first pitch as local team the Tampa Bay Rays prepared to play the New York Yankees at the Tropicana Field in Florida.

Kahan was given the honor to mark a partnership between the Rays and Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, where she is a volunteer.

“The more I do, I practice here, the more I’m better,” Kahan said in a report from USA Today.

“I did not have time to do it but now I’m doing it,” she said.

Kahan’s family was there to see her throw the pitch, including her 14 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Kahan wore a Rays uniform for the occasion and gave the ball a sprightly lob at the catcher.

Kahan was born in Romania and she, along with the rest of her family was sent to the Auschwitz death camp.

She was 21 at the time, the eldest of her six siblings. Though the rest of her family perished, she survived and was liberated by the Red Army.

Kahan later immigrated to the US in 1967 with her husband and family.

The Rays also gave a $10,000 grant to the Holocaust Museum.

The oldest person to throw the first pitch at a major league baseball game was Evelyn Jone in 2015 on her 108th birthday, breaking a record previously held by 105-year-old Agnes McKee who threw out the pitch at a San Diego Padres game the year before.

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