Silverado Resident Throws First Pitch at Major League Game
By Silverado Staff Writer
An Arizona transplant from California’s northern coast, Silverado resident Don Rodrigues has always been a loyal fan of the San Francisco Giants. An accomplished individual by all accounts – as a US Army veteran, graduate of San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley and social worker for 30 years – Don still had one wish to fulfill: throw out the first pitch for his hometown team.
So on March 19, on his 80th birthday, Don made the 25-mile trip to the Peoria Sports Complex, where the San Francisco Giants were for an exhibition game against the Seattle Mariners. With nearly 13,000 fans in attendance and his family cheering him on, Don took the field and waved to the fans before winding up for his first major league pitch.
The moment was perfect and brought tears to the eyes of those who accompanied Don to the game. Once a vibrant and outgoing person, Don has experienced the progression of Alzheimer’s disease for more than 13 years.
Before moving into Silverado’s memory care community, Don had been living alone in his Bay Area hometown until neighbors began to notice some troubling changes. Don was showing signs of memory loss and would often be seen wandering the neighborhood, alone and confused. After multiple calls from concerned friends, Don’s daughter contacted the Silverado community in her hometown of Scottsdale and arranged for them to visit her father to assess his need for additional care and support.
Now a longtime Silverado resident in Scottsdale, Don has been able to resume his life with purpose and joy. From leading programs that give back to the community-at-large to throwing out the first pitch at a major league game, Don is proof of the potential for life that still exists despite the onset of memory loss.