Keith Patton at Scrappers game

IBEW Local 573 member and Air Force Veteran throws out first pitch at Scrappers’ home opener

Throwing out the first pitch at the Mahoning Valley Scrappers’ home opener was IBEW Local 573 apprentice and United States Air Force Veteran, former Staff Sergeant Keith Patton with the 445th Airlift Wing of Dayton.

Patton served in the Air Force from July 31, 2009 to July 31, 2017 and was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Dayton where he performed hydraulic and electrical maintenance on C5 and C17 aircraft.

Keith Patton at Scrappers game

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers returned to Eastwood Field after a pandemic-induced year off, and IBEW Local 573 apprentice and Air Force Veteran Keith Patton kicked it off by throwing the ceremonial first pitch.

After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, Keith made the decision to enter the IBEW and is now a first-year Commercial Industrial apprentice with IBEW Local 573. He likened the bond between service members to that of the brotherhood within the union. That brotherhood is part of what made the transition between military life and electrical service a smooth one.

We hold ourselves to a higher standard; that’s how we’re trained

“I’ve actually met a lot of former military in the union and there’s an automatic bond there, and the brotherhood within the union reminds me a little bit of that,” said Patton. “We all just hold ourselves to a higher standard because that’s how we’re trained.”

Keith has been a member of IBEW Local 573 for two years and has worked with several area electrical contractors. The retired Staff Sergeant hopes to complete the program at and continue on to a rewarding career.

Patton at work

Soldier-turned-apprentice Keith Patton said he’s met lots of fellow Veterans in the electrical trade and the union, and that there’s an immediate bond formed.

“I want to top out as a Journeyman Electrician and then spend the next 30 years working as a Commercial Electrician and then retire,” he said.

The first pitch of the  Mahoning Valley Scrappers home opener against the State College Spikes took place Wednesday, May 26. Every Wednesday home game is Military Appreciation Night sponsored by NECA-IBEW Electricians.

Service members will receive two free upper box seat tickets with Military ID at the Chevy All-Stars Box Office in all future Wednesday home games this season.