He's Tom Willis, and he's a San Diego-based motivational speaker who has made it his goal to throw out the first ball at every major league baseball stadium.
So far, he's up to nine -- including eight this year -- and will add No. 10 to his resume when he throws the first pitch for the Texas Rangers on Sept. 30.
But despite the fate that was handed to him, Willis has managed to use it to kickstart a successful career.
"This all started because of my motivational speaking," Willis said. "I speak a lot to elementary schools about how it's OK to be different, and when I come I throw out tennis balls and Frisbees as a way to get their attention."
After word got out in his hometown, a TV crew filmed his appearance and that started his strange route to the major leagues.
"The station that did the segment was a cable channel that didn't serve my area so I went to their studio to get a DVD," Willis said, adding that the station just happened to be the one that aired all the San Diego Padres games. "The editor of the segment told me how much he liked the segment and asked if there was anything he could do to help. I told him, 'Help me throw out the opening pitch at a baseball game.'"
"I didn't think anything would come of it, but next thing you know, I'm throwing out the ball at a Padres game."
That was in 2008, and that one pitch planted a seed in Willis' brain about doing the same thing at every major league stadium.
But it wasn't as easy as he thought.
"Major League Baseball is actually 30 different corporations and each only has 81 home pitch opportunities," he explained. "Sometimes if you buy 1,000 tickets, you get to do it, or the corporate sponsors get a day. It shrinks the pie a bit."
Despite that, Willis has thrown out the first pitch this year for the Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds -- and the Texas Rangers will be added to his roster shortly.
"I am hoping that the decision makers will see that I'm not just a guy who wants to throw out the first pitch, but that I'm a guy who's done it at 10 stadiums," Willis said.
Willis is proud to say that, unlike some honorees whose first pitch bounces its way to the catcher, his throws usually go the entire 60-foot-6-inch distance from the mound to home plate.
"I use a sideways pitch, sort of snap the knee," he said. "Every throw I've done has made it to the catcher's mitt, although there may have been two that got there in one bounce."
As to how fast it goes? Well, that's another story.
"I tried to measure my speed on a radar gun," he admitted. "It didn't show up and the guy manning the gun said that the radar doesn't pick up balls thrown less than 25 mph."
Being able to throw out the first ball in not one, not two, but 10 stadiums is quite a coup, but his best pitch may be the one that he gives to the teams in order to get the assignment.
"My speech is called 'No Hands, No Arms, No Problem' and I offer to give the speech to disabled people in their town as a courtesy," Willis said. "Cincinnati took me up on the offer last week as part of 'Disability Awareness Day,' and I spent much of the day with a group of families with disabled kids, including a woman whose son had muscular dystrophy."
Willis said after finding out the son was a whiz with maps, he told the mother that her son could do great things with her help.
"This kid might become a great mapmaker and, one day, one of his maps could save someone's life," he said. "I told the mom, 'Your son has amazing opportunities, but you're going to be the one that makes it happen.'"
That is something that Willis knows firsthand. When he was born, his mother was given the opportunity of letting him become a ward of the state, but she chose to raise him.
"Back in ancient Rome, they did euthanasia to people with disabilities," he said. "Now, thanks to the 1990 American Disabilities Act, disabled people have more opportunities than ever."
Willis' mother may have taught him to do things for himself, but there are times when this no-armed pitcher could use a hand himself.
"To be honest, I am looking for a sponsor," he said. "I've paid for most of this myself and it would be nice to have some help deferring costs and having someone do PR."