MIAMI (AP) -- The ceremonial first pitch at Monday's Marlins-Nationals game will be thrown out by Norman Berman, who was the ballboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers the year Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier.
The 84-year-old Berman lives in nearby West Palm Beach. He has been a Marlins fan since their first game in 1993, and he was the Dodgers' 19-year-old ballboy in 1947.
Berman saw up close the challenges Robinson overcame as depicted in the new movie "42," with opponents relentlessly taunting and heckling the Dodgers rookie.
Berman's only season as ballboy was in 1947, and he watched Robinson and the Dodgers reach the World Series. Berman said Robinson befriended him, played catch with him and gave tips on how to make a double-play pivot.