Field of Dreams welcomes special guest to throw out first pitch - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Field of Dreams welcomes special guest to throw out first pitch of the season

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DYERSVILLE (KWWL) -

Nearly 80-degree weather on April Fool's Day may sound like a joke to some. But to others, it's baseball weather.

And at the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, many got to enjoy it firsthand during their opening day festivities.

For the first time in its 26-year history, a special guest was invited to throw out the first pitch.

Robert Smith was that man this year.

He's a blind man, but one with extraordinary vision: He wants to throw out the first pitch at every minor and major league ballpark in America.

All of that to promote his vision: the "Little Green Apples Project."

"What if we were to start doing a project where we did a million acts of kindness -- in other words, giving out a million green apples to people that are in need?" Smith asked.

He got the idea after listening to his dad's song, "Little Green Apples." His dad, the late O.C. Smith, won a Grammy for it in the late 1960's. 

But think about this for a minute: just a few months ago, Smith couldn't even throw a ball 15 feet.

Being blind, there was no way for him to watch someone else throw so he could imitate it. But that didn't stop him from learning.

And today, in front of a few dozen people, he threw nearly a dozen pitches, all of them hitting the target, or at least, coming very close.

"I think that's pretty cool, because I can hardly pitch, and if he can make it all the way to home plate, that's pretty cool," said Erica Bodden, a 10-year old from Wisconsin who was visiting the Field of Dreams for the first time in her life.

The movie site is now open daily and is free to the public.

If you're interested in learning more about Smith's project or would like to participate, you can visit his website: www.littlegreenapplesproject.com.

Smith says he hopes to return to the Field of Dreams later this summer to put on a mini-concert and help raise money for his charity and local charities, too.

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