Arizona Fans Bid Farewell to Outfielder Luis Gonzalez
Friday, October 06, 2006

On Saturday, Sept. 30, Todd McFarlane threw out the first pitch at the Arizona Diamondbacks home game, and his throw was right down the middle for a strike!

With Todd's PAC-10 baseball background, you may think this was a given.

Not necessarily, according to Todd. This was not the first time he has taken part in this long-standing baseball tradition; he has thrown out the first pitch a half-dozen times at Major League Baseball parks across the country.

What happened the last time?

"Right in the dirt," he says. "Wound up and threw a one-hopper to the catcher. Not my finest moment."

The energy at Chase Field was at a high level, as fans were saying goodbye in their own special way to longtime D-Back outfielder Luis Gonzalez, whose contract will not be renewed by the team next season. In fact, Todd got a chance to catch up with Gonzalez prior to the game on the field, as Gonzalez is a fan of McFarlane's work, including the action figure of the major league slugger.

"It was cool to see Luis, and for my son Jake to meet him. It was the day before his big sendoff, so it was good timing, that way we could spend a few minutes with him before the game. I just wanted to thank him and wish him luck with whatever team he winds up with next."

And thank him Todd did, as he and members of his family each held up signs with letters which spelled out said "Thanks, Gonzo."

The McFarlane Companies would like to thank the great people of the Diamondbacks organization, including Derek Hall and Casey Wilcox for putting this opportunity together.