Throwing is the latest task Sean Bretz has remastered, just one more step in his rehabilitation and in the remarkable recovery the Coast Guard machinery technician continues to make from flat on his back to, he hopes, back to work.
"The last six months,'' said Bretz, "has just been incredible improvement.''
It's also just been incredible.
A year ago, a ruptured brain aneurism put Bretz in a coma for weeks. When he came out of it, all he could move was his left thumb. And when he came home to Savannah, he needed every bit of the handicapped accessibility the Navy League and some Coast Guard buddies built into his Wilmington Island house.
Today what he needs most are new charts to record his ever-quickening progress.
"It's amazing,'' says Sean's mother, Noel Bretz. "I look at Sean and sometimes I just tear up thinking, oh my gosh, did we think last week we couldn't do this and this week we can?''
Bretz has impressed his physical therapists at St. Joseph's/Candler Hospital.
And as he's gone from wheelchair to walker to driving a car again for the first time last week, he has moved forward with one goal.
"I just really want to be pushed hard, so I can get better faster. The faster I get better, the faster I can actually go back to work,'' he said. "My long-term goal is actually be re-instated for full duty in the Coast Guard.''
No one who has watched him these last six months is betting against him.
"I don't have any doubts, said Milap Patel, Candler's clinical manager of outpatient therapy, who has worked closely with Bretz. "If he wants to do it, he will do it. He's really motivated.''
And next week, Bretz will provide motivation to fans at Grayson Stadium.
Because when he tosses a ball these days, it's not just rehab. It's also practice for the Sand Gnats' Coast Guard Night on Aug. 15, when Bretz will throw out the first pitch.
"That's going to feel great to me,'' Bretz said. "I mean, I love baseball and just that kind of thing is a great eat honor to me.''
"It'll be a celebration seeing Sean out there,'' said Sean's mother. "Could you imagine Sean would be throwing a baseball? I couldn't even imagine that last month.''
Noel Bretz says her son has been practicing in their backyard, using the tomatoes in her garden to aim at.
But his real target will be getting the ball all the way across home plate from the pitcher's mound.
"I'm pretty much working on my wind-up and getting the throwing pattern down,'' he said. "And I'm working on getting my distance down so I can make that full throw. And I'm very confident I'll make it.''
Just as he's made every milestone he's set in his recovery so far.