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Soldier delivers Tigers game ball



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U.S. Army PFC Dalton Sedam walks off the pitcher’s mound after delivering the game ball at the Detroit Tigers Aug. 15 game. He’s a 2008 Oxford High School graduate. Photo provided by the Detroit Tigers. (click for larger version)
August 17, 2011 - DETROIT – U.S. Army Private First Class Dalton Sedam took center stage in front of 32,611 people Monday evening when he delivered the game ball at Comerica Park as the Detroit Tigers took on the Minnesota Twins.

"It was awesome," said Sedam, a 2008 graduate of Oxford High School, who serves overseas in air defense. "It was a lot of fun. That's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It was like nothing I've ever felt before."

Unfortunately, the Tigers lost 9-6, but Sedam got to witness an historic baseball moment when Minnesota's Jim Thome became the eighth major league player – and the oldest – ever to hit 600 home runs.

"That was really cool," Sedam said. "He's the second fastest to ever get 600."

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Sedam was referring to fact that Thome reached this milestone in 8,137 at-bats. The fastest was the legendary Babe Ruth, who reached 600 home runs in 6,921 at-bats.

It was Angelina Sferro, a friend and fellow 2008 OHS graduate, who arranged to have Sedam deliver the game ball.

"I was real excited. I found out a couple of hours before I left to come home," said Sedam, who's been on leave since Aug. 2. "I'd always wanted to go down on the field. I'd never been."

Sedam, who's the son of Glen and Debbie Sedam, noted he's been a Tigers fan for as long as he can remember.

"I have baby pictures (of me) with Tiger shirts on," he said. "Going to games is a lot of fun . . . eating hot dogs at the park . . . I like it all."

His favorite player these days is ace pitcher Justin Verlander, who's won 18 games so far this season.

"He's going for his first 21 (win) season," Sedam said. "I'm rooting for him."

Sedam's been in the Army since February 2010. He said he joined in order to "get out there and help out where I can."

The two things he misses most during his overseas assignment are his family and good food. Be safe PFC Sedam and thank you for your service to our country.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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