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Phillies fan, 100, pitches

(ran LA edition of LT)

Marie Craig of Largo was on a pitcher's mound for the first time Sunday to throw out the "second first ball" of the Phillies/Blue Jays game.

Dunedin Mayor Tom Anderson threw the "first first ball" and asked Mrs. Craig, 100, not to throw hers farther.

Mrs. Craig was asked to throw the ball out after a January Times article about her 100th birthday mentioned that she is a Philadelphia native and a longtime Phillies fan.

Her stepdaughter-in-law, Jane Craig, said Mrs. Craig was very excited about throwing the ball.

Her stepgrandson, Steve Craig, flew in Saturday night from Atlanta for the event. When he asked his stepgrandmother if she was going to throw it far, she said, "Yeah, over the fence."

Craig wheeled Mrs. Craig to the pitcher's mound, and after a brief pause, she lobbed the ball nearly 5 feet. "I think she was a little overwhelmed," he said.

When Phillies manager Jim Fregosi offered his hand for a shake, Mrs. Craig kissed it, then he kissed hers and signed her ball.

In the stands, many fans greeted Mrs. Craig. Some congratulated her or said happy birthday and others took her picture.