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Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis practicing his throw.
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Sheriff Simon Leis prepares for Opening Day first pitch

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CINCINNATI - Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis is preparing to throw the first pitch at Great American Ball Park on Thursday, marking the start of the Reds season.

9 News spoke with Leis as he warmed up for the pitch Tuesday morning.

Leis has been arriving at the Cincinnati Athletic Club around 3:30 a.m. this week. He says he throws the ball around for a few minutes, and then continues his usual workout.

"The only basic thing I'm doing to train to throw a baseball, is throwing a baseball," said Leis. "It looks like I'm in good shape to throw that ball over the plate."

Reds Owner and CEO Bob Casetllini announced last week that Leis would throw the ceremonial first pitch.

"The people of Hamilton County have been blessed to have [ Leis] working on their behalf to make our community a better place in which to live, work and play. In recognition of his outstanding service to this community and his pending retirement this year, the Reds are honored to have [ Leis] throw the first pitch of the 2012 Reds season," said Casetllini.

In November, Leis announced his retirement after more than 40 years of service.

He told 9 News he's honored to throw out the pitch at Opening Day.

"It was very much of an honor when Bob Castellini called me up and said he's like for me to throw out the first ball, I was elated because I'm winding down my career of 42 years, and being able to do that my last year as sheriff, it's a great honor," said Leis.

Leis will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Reds vs. Miami Marlins Opening Day game on Thursday, April 5 at 4:05 p.m.

Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for full coverage of Opening Day.
 

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