The Brew Crew has a new name on their pitching roster, Vietnam vet and Wittenberg baseball legend Dan Owen.
Owen's not officially on the team, but he did get quite the honor at Miller Park Thursday night. Owen threw the ceremonial first pitch in the Brewer's series opener against the Cardinals.
"I never, never dreamt that I'd be able to throw out the first pitch," Owen told NewsChannel 7 as he prepared to leave for Miller Park.
Now that dream is reality thanks, in part, to Jason Resch. Resch petitioned the Brewers to invite Owen to throw out the first pitch as an honorary vet.
"He's a big Brewer fan, big baseball fan and loves talking baseball," Resch said of Owen. "It was kind of a natural choice for us."
Owen said the news he'd be throwing out the opening pitch came as a total surprise.
"I says are you, are you kidding? I says I just couldn't believe it," Owen recalled the phone conversation with Resch when he first told him the news. "He says that he wanted me to do it and so I agreed to do it."
Owen's decision to accept the honor meant he would have to warm up that pitching arm, something he hadn't done since he played for Wittenberg's baseball team after returning from Vietnam.
"Me and my son grabbed gloves and a ball and we went out and played catch."
While the practice went alright, Owen still had some reservations about getting the ball to the plate. But when his time came, he hit, or in this case threw, the ball out of the park.
"It's a great honor and I'm thrilled to do it," Owen said.
The excitement doesn't end there for Owen. On Monday he will join other area veterans in making the once in a lifetime trip to Washington D.C. on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Owen tells NewsChannel 7 he's looking most forward to seeing the Vietnam memorial and looking for the names of some of the men and women he served with.
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