The Oakland A's handed the ball over to 12-year-old Aaron Hern Tuesday night.
The Martinez boy who was seriously injured in the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this month is back on his feet and able to throw out the first pitch for his favorite team, the Oakland A's.
He told NBC Bay Area that he is doing a lot better physically, but said he still has nightmares about the bombings. "Otherwise, I'm pretty good. It just happens once in awhile," Aaron said.
Aaron gave it his all as he threw a pitch to A's first baseman Brandon Moss.
"I can't explain it, just being on the field is pretty crazy. Getting autographs and meeting players, just being on the field is crazy," Aaron said.
The A's are playing the San Francisco Giants Tuesday in the second of four games this week in the "Bay Bridge Series." The A's took Game 1 Monday afternoon.
Aaron got to meet some of the Giants as well, including manager Bruce Bochy, who shook the boy's hand and welcomed him to the field.
Throwing out the first pitch is the latest honor for Aaron as he recovers from a leg wound he suffered when the second of two bombs exploded in Boston at the end of the Boston Marathon.
"He is a very active boy. He was in Little League and on the swim team. Things like this are really special to make up for things he's missing out on," his mother Katherine said Tuesday night.
The sixth grader already met some of the A's when they stopped by his hospital room at Children's Hospital in Boston in the days after the bombing. Hern was visited by A’s outfielder Josh Reddick, first baseman Brandon Moss and first base coach Tye Waller on April 22, while the A’s were in town to play the Red Sox.
On April 15, Aaron was one of the nearly 200 people who were hurt in the blasts. He was waiting for his mother to finish race, when he was struck by shrapnel from the pressure cooker bombs set off that day. Surgeons had to remove the metal shards from his leg, and he remained in Boston at Children's Hospital until last week. No one else in the family was injured, including his 10-year-old sister, Abby.
Alan Hern, Aaron's father, is a football coach at Alhambra Valley High School. He detailed how his son's recovery at the beginning of May, but we haven't seen much of the family since then.
Aaron had to have 86 staples removed from his body, mostly his legs, and he still has some hearing damage left in his ear from a hole in his eardrum. Alan Hern expected Aaron to be back to 100-percent by mid-June.