WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It was a debut for a former Purdue baseball player more than 70 years in the making Friday.
Ray Miller, 90, came to Purdue in the fall of 1941 to be the catcher on the baseball team. But, he never got to play.
He joined the Army Air Corps on Dec. 8, the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He flew B-17s, the Flying Fortresses, in Europe throughout the war. By the time he came back he was too old to play baseball.
He took part in Lafayette's first Honor Flight to Washington D.C. last year, our sister station WLFI reports.
But his dream came true by spending the day Monday with his old team, then throwing out the first pitch to Friday's game against Iowa.
"It was an experience of my life. I was so deeply honored. It brought back so many memories that I had years ago," says Miller. "Purdue is like a second home to me so that's how I felt and I'm deeply grateful for them."
Even without baseball, he did just fine, working as a combustion engineer before finally retiring to Tipton.
The Marion native currently lives in the Indiana Veterans' Home and enjoys spending time with his family including four kids, six grandkids and four great-grandchildren.
The baseball memories aren't solely at Purdue. He once got to play with Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter in a Texas League game.
4:45 PM UPDATE: Indiana State Police in the Indianapolis district say troopers responded to 126 crashes between 6 p.m. Thursday and Noon on Friday.
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Four people were injured - two in critical condition - at local hospitals Friday after three vehicles crashed in Greensburg.