10/10/11 9:55 PM ET
First pitch a bittersweet tribute to young fan
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Instead, Kilar was too busy thinking about the memory of his son, Treyton, who was tragically killed by a drunk driver one month shy of his seventh birthday last September.
Treyton loved the Brewers, especially his hero Prince Fielder, so for Kilar to throw out the first pitch to Fielder in honor of Treyton was simply an overwhelming experience.
"I didn't hear too much," Kilar said. "It kind of overtook me a little bit more than I expected it to. It's all been so emotional. I was thinking about Treyton, to be honest with you. I knew he was looking down at me and saying, 'Dad, throw a strike, please.'"
Kilar, of course, threw a perfect strike to Fielder and would've made Treyton proud.
"I feel like I carried out part of Treyton's dream," Kilar said. "He dreamed of being a Brewer and playing at Miller Park. So to me, it was very emotional and very exciting at the same time."
Kilar had the chance to throw out the first pitch after the Brewers contacted his family to ask whether he'd be interested in doing it to honor Treyton. Kilar's wife, Mary, was the one to answer the phone, and she couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"It took my breath away," Mary Kilar said. "I think I might've said, 'Are you asking? Because of course the answer is yes.' But it's bittersweet, as Mike said, because we're doing it for Treyton, and he would've been blessed to be out there."
Mike Kilar didn't find out until Sunday he'd be throwing out the pitch to Fielder, which was fitting considering he was Treyton's favorite player.
Treyton met Fielder at the Brewers' annual fan fest in early 2010, and he took a picture with him in his Fielder jersey before telling his mom he never wanted his Fielder jersey washed again. She complied, but sadly, just eight months later, Treyton was buried in that jersey.
Fielder, though, was touched by the story, and he wrote a letter offering condolences and sent flowers upon hearing of Treyton's death. Fielder also gave everyone in the family, including Treyton's three sisters, a big hug after Kilar's first pitch Monday.
"When we looked at Treyton and he said his hero and the person he looked up to was Prince Fielder, we found quite clearly that he couldn't have picked a better hero," Mary Kilar said. "Prince is an extraordinary person."
Additionally, the Brewers also pledged a $10,000 donation to the Whitewater Community Foundation to help build the Treyton Kilar Field of Dreams in his memory.
"For them to be thinking of us at this time, with the playoffs, was just shocking to say the least," Kilar said. "But it shouldn't have surprised me, because the Brewers have been so gracious and supportive in this time of tragedy."
The family came up with the idea to build a baseball diamond in Treyton's honor just days after he passed away last September. The project has a budgeted goal of $424,000, and with the help of the Brewers, and $50,000 coming via a Pepsi Refresh Challenge grant, the family has raised nearly $250,000.
Fans wishing to lend their support to the project can do so by visiting Treysfield.org.