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James Conner to throw out first pitch at Pirates' Opening Day Sunday - The Pitt News

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James Conner to throw out first pitch at Pirates’ Opening Day Sunday

Pitt+RB+James+Conner+made+his+third+straight+Doak+Walker+Award+watch+list+Thursday.+Jeff+Ahearn+%7C+Assistant+Visual+Editor+
Pitt RB James Conner made his third straight Doak Walker Award watch list Thursday. Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

Pitt RB James Conner made his third straight Doak Walker Award watch list Thursday. Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

Pitt RB James Conner made his third straight Doak Walker Award watch list Thursday. Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

By Dan Sostek / Sports Editor

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James Conner will be taking the field in the North Shore, but not the one you’d expect.

Pitt and the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that Conner, the Panthers’ star running back, will throw out the first pitch at PNC Park on Opening Day Sunday.

“I’m honored and thrilled to throw out the first pitch for the Pirates’ season opener,” Conner said in a release. “And I want to thank everyone in the organization for this incredible invitation.”

Conner announced in December that doctors diagnosed him with Hodgkin lymphoma. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments, but has continued to work out and participate in spring football practice.

Prior to his diagnosis, Conner, an Erie, Pennsylvania, native, won the ACC Player of the Year award in 2014. He tore his MCL this past season, causing him to miss the entire year.

The running back said he’s going to have to prepare for the moment.

“It has been a long time since I played baseball, but I’ll make sure my arm is ready to throw a strike on Sunday. The Bucs’ road to the World Series begins this weekend and I can’t wait to be at PNC Park.”

The game begins at 1:05 p.m., as the Pirates take on their rival the St. Louis Cardinals.

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James Conner to throw out first pitch at Pirates’ Opening Day Sunday