Before every Major League Baseball game, a lucky fan gets the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch to get things started.
On Tuesday, Aug. 14, when the Cincinnati Reds take on the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park, that lucky fan will be Rick Sams, a 1998 graduate of Marietta High School.
Sams, a lifelong Reds fan and former Reds intern, is currently a resident of Dayton. He is a manager of beverages for Speedway and got this rare opportunity through his job.
"We (Speedway) have a relationship with Anheuser-Busch, which is a very large customer," Sams said. "They asked if I was interested and I said absolutely."
Anheuser-Busch is a major corporate sponsor of the Reds.
Sams, 33, is obviously elated to have this opportunity.
"I am a lifelong Reds fan," Sams said. "I grew up listening to Joe (Nuxhall) and Marty (Brennaman) on 1490. This is a dream come true."
This will not be the first time that Sams has gotten onto the field at Great American. Sams has taken batting practice on the field, been to spring training and met some of the players. This experience will be different, though, and has Sams a little apprehensive.
"It's been awhile since I've thrown," Sams said. "I was thinking that the Sunday before the game I might go out in the yard and just throw some. I've definitely got some butterflies."
As if the experience wasn't special enough, Sams will get to throw the pitch to his sister, Cathey.
"After they called me about throwing the pitch, they called me again to ask who I wanted to catch," Sams said. "I thought that was interesting. I've got a lot of friends who are big Reds fans. I knew I wanted my sister to do it though. It's pretty special and she's pretty excited."
Other family members in attendance will be Sams' parents and his son Beckham.
"This will be (Beckham's) third game, but his first time on the field," Sams said.
As for the 2012 Reds, Sams likes what he has seen.
"I've been pleasantly surprised," Sams said. "I know they recently hit a skid, but they've done well this season. I'm looking forward to seeing them play the Mets."