Greenwood ace takes the Miller Park mound
Throughout the 48 years of the Milwaukee Brewers’ existence, some big-name pitchers have toed the rubber on the County Stadium and Miller Park pitching mounds, Hall of Famers like Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton and Roger Clemens.
Now add Amber Johnson’s name to that list.
The 90-year-old right-hander from Greenwood didn’t get to throw a live pitch off the Milwaukee mound, of course, but she was on it on Sept. 18 for a ceremonial strike before the Brewers played the Cincinnati Reds in a crucial late-season National League Central Division game. Cheered on by approximately 45 family members and friends, Amber tossed a baseball into the mitt of Brewer back-up catcher Jacob Nottingham and forever entered Johnson family baseball lore.
Through its “Community Achiever” program, the Brewers organization selects fans throughout the season for a ceremonial first pitch, with candidates nominated by family or friends. Amber’s nomination came from a granddaughter, and Amber was not even aware that she was a candidate until a few weeks before her scheduled “start” on the Miller Park mound. She was at first nervous about showing off her fastball on the field before 30,000 fans, but after the experience, she says it was among the thrills of her lifetime.
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