Heart transplant recipient, avid “School of Roch” fan Fahs to throw out first pitch

Scott Fahs grew up envying the likes of Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer and Mike Mussina. He vividly remembers Cal Ripken Jr. breaking Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played and describes it as “one of the neatest things ever.”

On Saturday, The 37-year Orioles fan will get the opportunity to walk the grounds of the park that provided him with some of his favorite sports memories.

Fahs, 44, will get to make a memory of his own as he is set to throw out the ceremonial first ball at Camden Yards before the Orioles host the Mariners.

“I’ve always wanted to walk on Camden Yards and to be able to finally get down there and do that, it’s going to be so exciting,” Fahs said.
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But his journey to the mound has been a whole lot harder than the trot from the bullpen.

The York, Pa., native has survived 25 surgeries, four open-heart procedures and chemotherapy over the last 12 years due to a rare blood disorder. Suffering from this disease, Fahs underwent a successful heart transplant last October.

It wasn’t until right before his transplant that he shared his story on MASNsports.com.

“They (MASNsports.com) called me and they asked me what had happened to me,” Fahs said. “I tried to explain about 50 percent of it. I didn’t go into tremendous detail about it.”

Fahs began reading MASNsports.com about four years ago. He started commenting on Roch Kubatko’s stories on a whim, but didn’t expect much. He was surprised with the amount of conversation he engaged in, and has since become an everyday visitor to “School of Roch”.

But Kubatko’s blog has become much more than just a place to pass time for Fahs. After sharing his story on the website, “School of Roch” became a place to gain strength as he awaited the heart transplant.

“My wife was like, ‘You have to see this. Everybody changed their avatars to a heart.’ And at the time, I was so sick,” Fahs said. “I was just so sick, and seeing that put such a smile on my face. All the comments everybody on there was making, along with my friends and family at home, just gave me a little bit more to fight.”

The users on MASNsports.com only knew Fahs as “CardiacScott.” They had never met him, never spoken to him in person - just simply had some conversations over the web.

The support was not only astonishing to Fahs, but also Kubatko.

“I’m blown away by the level of support for Scott on my blog,” he said. “It’s such a beautiful thing. I’m assuming that the vast majority of fans have never met him, but he’s become family to all of us over the past few years.”

And Fahs describes the “School of Roch” community as just that, family. He will get the chance to meet some of this family on Saturday on what has been deemed as “School of Roch Night” in Fahs’ honor.

“I’m going to give them all a big, big hug, and thank them for what they’ve done, and talk to them and enjoy the night,” Fahs said. “I’m more excited about Roch’s site and the ‘School of Roch,’ and all the people there for this. I feel like they’re going to be on the mound with me. I feel like this is for all of us, not just me.”

For more pictures of the “School of Roch” night and Fahs’ first pitch, click here.

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