World War II Veteran Throws Ceremonial First Pitch At Columbus Clippers Game

UPDATED: Sunday July 7, 2013 11:56 PM

It's not hard to see how much Howard "Shorty" Hatten loves the game of baseball.

His smile reaches from ear to ear just being at the ballpark.

The 88-year-old played amateur baseball with the Alpha Athletic Club and other teams for decades.  He played so well, that he was inducted into the Fast Pitch/Slow Pitch Hall of Fame in 1987.

He had aspirations of of making the big leagues.

"Tried out five different times, they said son, you have everything but you're just not big enough, so here I am," Hatten said.

Ironically, his five-foot-four height was tall enough for him to serve our country in the Navy on a transport ship during World War Two.  This sailor saw action in the invasion of Okinawa.

"Rather play baseball and softball, but that was my next best thing, I loved all of it," Hatten said.

He was happy to serve and even more happy to play in the game of his boyhood dreams.

And that's why it was all the more special when he was chosen for a special honor at the Clippers game throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

Hatten is the only original member of the Alpha Athletic Club remaining. He still attends those monthly meetings religiously.