June 13, 2012—One of the perks of being Illinois Teacher of the Year is throwing out the first pitch before a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
North Central College alumnus Josh Stumpenhorst experienced his day at the Friendly Confines on Tuesday, June 12, before a night game versus the Detroit Tigers. Stumpenhorst attended with his wife and their two young children, who were excited to meet Cubs pitcher Alberto Cabrera.
“Cabrera just talked to my boys and signed a ball,” Stumpenhorst Tweeted before the big moment. “They are in heaven.”
A short time later, Stumpenhorst—wearing a blue Cubs jersey—stood on the mound at Major League Baseball’s second-oldest ballpark and delivered the ceremonial first pitch.
“Low and outside…across the plate,” he Tweeted. Later, he said his family was “blown away by the polite and helpful staff at Wrigley Field.”
Stumpenhorst, who earned his undergraduate degree in social science and secondary education from North Central in 2003, was named 2011-2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and 2012 Teacher of the Year by the Illinois Education Association (IEA). The night he threw out the first pitch also was IEA Night at Wrigley Field.
He teaches language arts and social science to sixth-graders at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville Community Unit School District 203.
Stumpenhort posted a video of his first-pitch moment to YouTube. In addition to the Wrigley Field experience, Stumpenhorst and honorees from other states were feted by President Barack Obama at the White House in March and were invited to attend NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.