By Selena Hernandez, CBS 11 News

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Two weeks ago, Dallas-Fire Rescue lost one of its own. Saturday night, Lt. Todd Krodle’s spirit was present at the Ballpark in Arlington.

The focus before the Rangers ball game was Krodle’s 12-year-old son, who was there for a very special tribute.

He emerged from the bowels of the Ballpark. Cade Krodle, son of fallen firefighter Lt. Krodle. Cade was invited to toss the ceremonial opening pitch at the Rangers game. His father, a near 18-year veteran, lost his life as he battled an apartment fire in southwest Dallas.

“It’s really exciting. I’m really excited,” Cade said.

“I’m very proud of him and his daddy would be so proud,” mother Kelli Krodle said.

With his mother, sister and support from the stands, Cade waited patiently behind the foul line, to take the mound.

“That’s from our town, Caddo Mills,” Kelli said. “And the firefighters from Station 26 are here as well.”

His sister, Caroline, offered her last-minute advice.

“He better not bounce the ball.”

And then, it was time. The announcement echoed throughout the park, calling Cade to the mound.

The seasoned little leaguer and Rangers fan strolled to the diamond, knowing his hero, Josh Hamilton, would be on the receiving end.

A solid pitch, a huge applause from the crowd, and a priceless smile – one that helps heal the pain of a boy and his family – followed.

“We are big Rangers fans, our whole family,” Kelli said. “We always come out to the Ballpark. This would mean so much to Todd. The Rangers have been so generous, we are so thankful.”

Cade fondly recalls how a few years ago, while at a game with his father, he met Nolan Ryan. The two had a brief conversation and Ryan signed a baseball for Cade.

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