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Play ball!: Former resident tosses out first pitch before Chicago Cubs game

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Former Brazil resident Bethany Phyne tossed out the first pitch at Wrigley Field Saturday before the Cubs faced the Houston Astros. Courtesy Photo.
On Sunday, former Brazil resident Bethany Phyne left the butterflies in the stands.

Phyne, a 1987 graduate of Northview High School who was affectionately known as "Buffy" while in high school, had the time of her life Sunday as she threw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs faced the Houston Astros.

"It was fantastic," Phyne told The Brazil Times. "It is huge. I told my boss after the fact, 'Oh my God. I can't believe this just happened. This is like obituary material.'

"It was wonderful. It was an honor just to be on Wrigley Field."

Phyne's mother, Diane Lawson, still lives in Brazil

Phyne attended the game for "Webkinz Day." The company she works for, Ganz, created Webkinz. Phyne is a District Sales Manager for the company.

She said the first 5,000 children in attendance Sunday received a free Lil' Kinz Panda.

This is the second year representatives from Ganz threw out a pitch at a Cubs' game. Last year, her boss, Ganz Vice President of Sales and Marketing George Kacic, threw out the pitch.

Phyne said Kacic attended Sunday's game and suggested she throw out the pitch.

Bethany Phyne
Phyne said she was told prior to her big moment she would not get any warm-up pitches. "I asked, 'Do I get a chance to warm up,' and they said, 'no,'" she said. "They gave me the ball and I said a little prayer.

"I thought, 'keep the form.' I wanted to focus on strength and form. It was kind of like throwing a flag in high school."

Phyne said officials instructed her to stand in front of the pitcher's mound and gave her a heady reminder.

"I was told to make sure not to bounce (the ball) because I would get booed," she said.

But her pitch was strong and went directly into the mitt of Cubs' catcher Koyie Hill. She was allowed the keep the ball and had Hill sign it as well.

"People were stopping me going, 'great pitch,'" Phyne said. "I think there was a little angel over my shoulder.

"(Kacic) said it was right in the zone. I could see it visually right after it left my hand. I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually fantastic."

Following the first pitch, Phyne said soon-to-be Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien ran across the field as he was chased by Cubs' officials.

"We had fantastic seats directly behind home plate," Phyne said. "Unfortunately, the Cubs lost but it was a great day, nonetheless. One that I will never forget."

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Way to go Buffy.

-- Posted by confused33 on Wed, May 20, 2009, at 7:57 AM

She looks like a modern day Farrah Fawcett. God bless you, darlin' .. way to go!

-- Posted by Emmes on Wed, May 20, 2009, at 9:45 AM

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