SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command’s deputy commander threw out the traditional first pitch for the San Antonio Missions’ minor-league baseball game as part of the Missions’ Military Appreciation Night June 12.
Pregame activities were wrapped up by the Navy Information Operations Command Texas color guard presenting the colors and the Navy Medicine Training Support Center student choir performing the national anthem following Capt. Tim Richardson’s first pitch.
“It was great to represent the Navy and NMETLC team at the Missions baseball game,” Richardson said. “This is Military City USA, and it was a great honor.”
Missions manager Rick Sweet spoke briefly with Richardson just before the first pitch. He discussed the long history between baseball and the military, saying the pitch represents that bond.
“It always means a lot to me, being an ex-military guy myself,” said Sweet, a Goodyear, Arizona, native who lives in San Antonio during the six-month baseball season. “I understand the importance of our military. I think the military and baseball have always gone together. It’s always worked together. You think about all of the baseball players that fought in WWII and had to put their careers on hold.”
Like Sweet, many are surprised to learn about the large Navy foot print in Military City USA. More than 10,000 active, reserve and student Sailors, family members, and federal/civilian employees are stationed in San Antonio or pass through for Navy training.
Among those trained are hospital corpsmen and master-at-arms, the Navy’s two largest enlisted career fields, or “ratings,” who receive all entry-level and most of their advanced training in San Antonio.
Among San Antonio’s 11 Navy commands, detachments and activities, NMETLC is led by the Navy’s senior officer in San Antonio, Rear Adm. Tina Davidson. NIOC has the largest Navy permanent-party population, and NMTSC the largest Navy student population. Team work, planning and coordination between the three Navy commands and the Missions ensured players and fans witnessed firsthand the bond that Sweet described.
For Richardson, it was a rewarding night, adding, “I was very proud to see the students singing the national anthem and the great work by the NIOC color guard.”