Avid 11-year-old fan gets Phillies opening day honor

WILMINGTON, Del. (WPVI) -- An 11-year-old avid sports fan with remarkable resilience and perseverance will play a huge role Thursday for the Phillies opening day.

Daniel Scharff of Audobon, N.J., is throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.

"You've done great with all of this," says a hospital technician as he cuts the casts off Daniel's legs.

Daniel is recovering after surgery to help lengthen and rotate his legs.

For those casts, he had chosen colors to represent the Philadelphia Flyers.

But he is also an Eagles fan and an avid Phillies fan.

Not surprisingly, his favorite player is....

"Probably Bryce Harper now," he says with a smile.

Daniel has been working hard at Nemours duPont Pediatrics in Cherry Hill, because, come Thursday, he'll be on the field for Phillies Opening Day.

He was picked by Nemours, one of the sponsors, to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.

"I was amazed. I really wanted to do it one day and I knew I would," says Daniel.

Daniel was born with a mild case of cerebral palsy.

It has affected how he walks.

"He's a little off balance, a little up on his toes a bit," says Daniel's father David.

But his parents say it has never held him back.

"He never really has said I can't do it, he always just decided he's going to do it and he does. He sets his mind to it and does a great job," says Kate Scharff, Daniel's mother.

Daniel plays several different sports, including basketball, baseball, and even soccer - as the team goalie.

With his brother, he's been practicing his pitch.

He is used to pitching, though normally in front of a smaller audience - but Daniel says he'll be ready for the big day.

"Pretty confident, yeah 100-percent," he says confidently.

We wish him and the Phillies good luck on Opening Day!
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