Tri-State woman makes Major League Baseball debut

Helen Glisson throws out first pitch at St. Louis Cardinals game May 20, 2017

A 95-year-old Jacksonville, Illinois woman has now accomplished her second life goal throwing out the first pitch at a St. Louis Cardinals game.

This Spirit of the Tri-States report brought to you by Continental Cement and Green America Recycling shows you why it took a lifetime to make it happen.

Jacksonville native and life-long Cardinals fan Helen Henry Glisson will tell you her two life goals if you just ask.

"My first goal was to raise a great family, which I did," she explained. "There's over 100 of them. Doctors, lawyers, chiefs, teachers and everything. I'm very proud of all of them."

Six children, 21 grandchildren, 54 great- grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren are all all-stars to Helen.

As far as her second goal, it involves red and dates back more than 90 years ago.

"My dad was a big Cardinal fan," she explained. "He had his ear on the radio all the time. He was an avid fan, so I became one, too."

Which is why Helen has always wanted to throw out the first pitch at a St. Louis Cardinals game.

More than 100 of her family members along with hundreds of friends turned out to Busch Stadium last Saturday for her big day.

But Helen's task didn't come without preparation and practice

Helen has spent weeks getting her pitching arm in shape by throwing a beanie baby down the hallway of her assisted living center in Jacksonville.

Her grandson gave her a baseball to wrap her hands around, but she didn't want to hurt anyone or anything practicing with the real thing.

That practice made for a perfect day and pitch in Helen's life.

Helen threw out the first pitch last Saturday as part of the St. Louis Cardinals' Jacksonville Days.

This is the second year for the event.

Shelley Singleton with CNB Bank & Trust started Jacksonville Days for the first time since the 1970s.

The Jacksonville native had a chance to walk out on the Cardinals field when she was a kid.

It was her dream to bring it back to Busch Stadium.

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