The father of a 6-year-old girl killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings will have a chance to throw out the first pitch for the team he and his daughter loved.
Robbie Parker, whose daughter Emilie was killed in the December shooting rampage, will throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers' home opener April 5. The ceremony is part of an MLB-wide recognition of Sandy Hook victims, as all players, managers, coaches, umpires, and on-field personnel will wear a symbolic patch to remember those killed.
Parker will be joined by his daughters Madeline and Samantha and wife Alissa for the first pitch. The Rangers host the Los Angeles Angels in the game, which is sold out.
"I am so proud to be a Ranger fan, because I know that as a fan I actually belong to a community," Parker said in a statement read by his brother, Jeremie Parker, on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM in January. "I am glad I was able to share the community with my precious daughter and that the same community has reached out to her and let our family know that she is remembered and loved. Thank you for all you have done to support our family through this time. Go Rangers!"
Robbie Parker is a lifelong Rangers fan, having grown up in North Texas. He used to take his daughter Emilie to games in Texas, Seattle, and Boston.
This week, Robbie Parker and his wife also met with Peter Lanza, father of Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza.
The hour-long meeting was said to be an effort for the family to find closure.
"I felt strongly that I needed to tell him something, and I needed to get that out of my system," said Alissa Parker about the meeting with the Sandy Hook shooter's father. "I felt very motivated to do it and then I felt really good about it and prayed about it. And it was something that I needed to do."