Paul Lamison’s daughter throws the first pitch as the Rays reminisce about the life and legacy of WFLA’s chief photojournalist
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Just weeks before his sudden death last summer, Paul Lamison realized his dream when he threw the first pitch before a Tampa Bay Rays game.
Nearly a year later, the Rays honored WFLA’s late Chief Photojournalist with a tribute video and commemorative first pitch on Wednesday night.
“His first pitching anniversary was coming up, so we wanted to do something special,” said Paul’s wife, Nerissa Lamison.
Nerissa will always remember cheering for her husband as he threw the celebratory first pitch on June 29, 2022.
“When I first got here on the field, all I remember is Paul on the field and how happy he was,” Nerissa said, “but on the other hand, it’s bittersweet because it was his happiest moment and the last happiest moment together as a family.” “
She said she is grateful that Paul’s favorite team have agreed to honor his life and legacy.
“It’s not the same,” Nerissa said. “We’re not as sporty as Paul. We’re not as charismatic as Paul, but we did our best and I think Ava came out on top and did what was right for her father and our whole family.”
After a few warm-up throws with Rays mascot Raymond, Paul’s youngest daughter Ava followed in his footsteps and took the mound at Tropicana Field for the first pitch.
“I just knew he was cheering and looking down at me, ‘Oh you did it,'” Ava Lamison said. “It’s very outside of my comfort zone to throw a ball up a hill in a live game, so I was like, ‘Oh,’ and then when I did it I was like, ‘Oh, he’s with me and he’s proud.’ ‘”
While Paul dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, he became the best teammate on the WFLA News Channel 8 team during his nearly 30-year career as a photojournalist and Eagle 8 reporter.
“He loved his purpose as a photojournalist,” Nerissa said. “He loved his WFLA family and the news team. He was the advocate, the advocate, the friend, the great collaborator. I could see that from a distance and I can tell by the way you guys talk and you guys are so great to Paul as well.”
Nerissa said the best way to honor Paul is to be happy and live our best lives.