Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 4/5/13
ARLINGTON, Texas Robbie Parker didn't think about anything on the mound Friday at Rangers Ballpark. It helped him get through a very emotional first pitch before the Texas home opener. Parker is the father of Emilie Parker, one of the 26 people who died at the Newtown school shooting last year. Robbie Parker is a lifelong Rangers fan who took his daughter to her first Texas game when she was three months old. "Luckily I think my mind finally went blank," said Robbie Parker, who threw the first pitch to Ivan Rodriguez. "My mind's been racing for about three weeks and I finally just zoned out. I told Purge (Rodriguez) right before It's just me and you here, right?' As far as emotions go, it was really tough to try and keep my emotions out there. It was pretty amazing." Robbie Parker was accompanied to the mound by his wife and two daughters. Texas outfielder David Murphy, who was Emilie's favorite player, also went on the field with the family. Murphy gave them the jersey he wore on Opening Day. That jersey has a ribbon on it to honor the Newtown victims. Before the game, the Parkers got to meet with team CEO Nolan Ryan as well as former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush. The family was greeted by members of the Rangers in the Texas dugout when the left the field. Robbie Parker was born in Utah but grew up in Arlington. When his family moved away, one of the conditions to the move was that Robbie Parker got to make a road trip to Texas games. The Rangers contacted Robbie Parker about throwing out the first pitch in February. While he was honored to have the opportunity, he didn't want it to take away from the reason he was at the ballpark Friday. "Of course this is a very meaningful and amazing experience for our family," said Robbie Parker. "I just want to make sure that we all remember exactly why we're here. That's because my daughter and 25 other people's lives were lost in a very tragic accident. I don't want to lose sight of that. I don't want anybody to ever lose sight of that."
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