Two longtime Mercy Hospital Washington employees have been chosen to throw out the first pitch at Busch Stadium Sunday, May 21, for Mercy Day at the Ballpark.

One of the two chosen, Ellen Havelka, has worked at Mercy for 55 years. She works in the post anesthesia care unit. She was nominated by her supervisor.

“Oh, I’m just so excited,” Havelka told The Missourian. “I’m just ecstatic. I love the Cardinals!”

The other nominee, Virginia “Toody” Painter, is on her 58th year at Mercy. She is a nurse anesthetist. She said she doesn’t know how she was chosen to throw the first pitch, but is very thankful.

“I’m just absolutely speechless,” said Painter. “I can’t get it through my brain that I’m going to do that. I feel extremely blessed that I get to represent all of Mercy like that.”

Neither of the women said they were nervous to throw the pitch.

“I’m not right now,” said Painter. “But I will be on the day.”