by: Phil Orban Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
A sailor returned home from overseas and surprised his young daughter on the middle of the Charlotte Knights baseball field Friday night.
Just before 8-year-old Isabella Elmore threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game in Charlotte, her father, Philip Elmore, a gunners mate first class in the U.S. Navy, delivered a message of encouragement on the video board.
“OK Isabella, all you do is aim for the catcher. Try to knock him down and I'll see you real soon,” the father said.
She wound up and threw a strike to the Knights catcher and when the catcher lifted his mask, Isabella saw her father home early from Germany.
He was home in time to celebrate her First Communion Saturday.
She was speechless and managed to get one word out, “Daddy?”
They shared a hug and an emotional reunion in front of home plate.
Elmore, a graduate of East Mecklenburg High School, is a 27-year veteran of the Navy.
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