Axford's son to throw out first pitch on Friday

Axford's son to throw out first pitch on Friday

DENVER -- Rockies closer John Axford had to purchase two baseball gloves for his son, Jameson, to play with as the 2-year-old recovers from a rattlesnake bite incident in Arizona in March. Jameson is undecided: Lefty or righty?

Axford doesn't know what to expect when his son makes his Coors Field debut Friday night, when he'll throw a first pitch during a ceremony before the Rockies' game against the Dodgers.

After what Jameson has been through, either will be fine with Dad.

"In the hospital, over the whole time, he was throwing with his right and with his left hand, so I'm not too sure which one he'll choose when he's out there," Axford said. "So he has both gloves."

Jameson was bitten twice on his right foot while playing outside the home the family was renting in the Scottsdale, Ariz., area. Jameson ended up with several times more venom than normal from snakebites. He spent four weeks in the intensive care units of hospitals in Arizona and Denver.

On Monday, he will undergo his first skin graft surgery. He's also going through procedures to regenerate skin tissue. The process will be a long one, although Monday's surgery is a significant step.

So why not have a little fun Friday?

Because the foot isn't in shape to allow him to walk, Jameson will roll his wheelchair onto the field, determine which hand he'll throw with, and fire.

"Both our boys like all kinds of sports," Axford said. "Our oldest boy, J.B., we know is right-handed, for sure. They both like to play different sports. In the offseason, we got them hockey skates and sticks. When you try to figure out how they shoot, you put the stick down and let them figure it out. They both shoot left-handed.

"Jameson prefers putting the glove on his right hand. Sometimes he'll take it off and throw right, but he'll also throw left. I'm thinking he might be left-haned, but we'll see."

Dad won't care Friday.

"It'll put a smile on my face, for sure," Axford said. "Maybe tears in my eyes, too."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.