Hailey Dawson, a young girl with a robotic hand, had a dream to throw out the first pitch for all 30 major league baseball teams. That dream came true a month ago when the Henderson, Nev.,-native threw out the first pitch at a Los Angeles Angels game – the final team on her list. This Sunday, E:60 will tell the story of “Hailey’s Hand” (9 a.m. ET, ESPN2).
“Our E:60 team first heard of Hailey after she threw out the first pitch for the Nationals,” said producer Jen Karson. “When news of her throwing out the first pitch at the 2017 World Series circulated, we knew it was a story worth pursuing for so many different reasons, but one obvious pull was that she would be on the world’s biggest stage, and had a story people hadn’t heard yet.”
Baseball fans may have seen the adorable and courageous 8-year-old girl with the robotic hand, but most don’t know how she got her hand.
“I was intrigued by how this hand is made, and how she was able to get the hand in the first place,” Karson said. “From there, I wanted to see how this massive change in her life affected her, on and off the baseball diamond.”
In order to get Dawson to open up about the experience Karson and reporter Chris Connelly had to adjust their typical interview approach.
“It is a completely different approach when dealing with a child versus an adult,” Karson said. “The key is to make them feel comfortable. We sat Hailey on her family’s couch as opposed to a formal interview setting with big lights. Chris Connelly, our talented correspondent, did a great job of asking Hailey questions that were easy for her to answer. My approach was to allow her to open up as much as we could, in order for her to give more than just one-word answers. She did a great job, and I think it comes through on-camera.”