Oakmont of Montecito resident catches the first pitch at Oakland A’s game

OAKLAND (KPIX) — With his own grandson on the mound hurling the horsehide, a ceremonial first pitch at Sunday’s A’s game was caught by a man who has lived with Parkinson’s Disease for over 20 years.

It was a full-circle moment 18 years in the making.

“I don’t drive anymore. I said if I can’t drive and I can’t play golf, I don’t want to be alive,” said 78-year-old Dan Cochrane. Cochrane said he no longer feels that way although he admits Parkinson’s has changed every part of that life.

“I’m slower. I have less energy. Got a lot of pain,” Cochrane said.

Back in 1990, long before it was a popular idea, the East Bay father suggested to his son Robert Cochrane they could visit all 30 baseball stadiums across the country that summer. They made it to four ballparks then decided to put the idea on hold when they realized how much travel it would involve.

Fast forward to 2001. The elder Cochrane was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. The family had a lot of uncertainties and fears and they weren’t sure how much time Cochrane would have left.

In 2004, son Robert decided they should finish their goal of visiting all 30 ballparks, starting with their local — and favorite — team, the Oakland A’s.

“It was two months of driving, about 350, 400 miles a day,” Robert Cochrane recalled.

In the past 18 years, Robert Cochrane, a filmmaker, has made three documentaries about their Parkinson’s-inspired ballpark journey to raise awareness and help people better understand the disease.

CBS News

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