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Orioles' #HaveACatch winner who had a catch on her wedding day throws out first pitch

When lifelong Orioles fan Meredith James Alcala took the floor for the father-and-daughter dance at her wedding reception May 19 in the San Francisco area, she had a surprise up her sleeve — quite an achievement considering she was wearing a sleeveless wedding dress.

Alcala and her father, Steve James, took that traditional twirl, but instructed the DJ to make a quick switch in the middle of the song to break into “Orioles Magic.” That’s when Meredith and Steve broke out baseball gloves and played catch on the dance floor to the amazement and amusement of their guests.

Alcala works in San Francisco, but when she heard about the Orioles’ #HaveACatch campaign, she entered video of the blessed baseball event and won the chance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

So, she flew coast to coast to enjoy a moment she calls a “dream come true,” which featured a sentimental twist.

The first-pitch participant generally throws the ball to a uniformed Oriole and then has a photo taken before getting the ball autographed, but the team made an exception this time.

Steve James did the catching.

“It’s a dream come true for both of us,’’ he said in an email this week.

Meredith acknowledged before going to the mound that she was nervous and had practiced a lot to make sure she could get the ball to the glove.

“I was so excited at the wedding that my first throw sailed over my dad’s head and almost took out a table full of wedding gifts,’’ she said.

She took a little bit off the first pitch this time, getting it to her dad on one hop, but it was still a moment she will never forget.

“I’ve been an Orioles fan my entire life,’’ she said. “They brought me to my first Orioles game when I was 6 weeks old. So, the Orioles have been part of our life forever.”

Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck on his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at

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