Former Dodgers ball boy throws out ceremonial pitch

Team photo of 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers. Berman is sitting on the ground, on the right.

Team photo of 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers. Berman is sitting on the ground, on the right.

Former Dodgers ball boy Norman Berman.

Former Dodgers ball boy Norman Berman.

MIAMI — A link to Jackie Robinson’s days with the Brooklyn Dodgers was at Marlins Park on Monday night.

Norman Berman, a West Palm Beach resident and Brooklyn native, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Marlins faced the Nationals.

Berman, who turns 85 on April 30, was 19-years-old when he joined the Dodgers as their ball boy in 1947, the year Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.

When he learned he was invited to throw out the first pitch, Berman began practicing. Although he walks with the assistance of a cane, he won’t be using any support to make his pregame toss.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Berman was an aspiring ballplayer, an undersized second baseman who actually was once part of the Dodgers system. Because of his slender size, he was considered too small.

Berman made $7 a game being the ball boy. He’d sit on a chair a few feet away from the Dodgers dugout at Ebbets Field.

Joe Frisaro

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