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#pounditThursday, May 13, 2021

Articles tagged: First Pitch

MLB reprimands Pirates over rapper Wiz Khalifa’s marijuana endorsement

Wiz Khalifa

MLB reprimanded the Pittsburgh Pirates after a rapper who threw out a first pitch at their game Wednesday endorsed marijuana.

Rapper Wiz Khalifa was invited to throw out the first pitch before the Pirates’ game against the Baltimore Orioles. He did so happily and was in a gregarious mood before tossing out the pitch. The problem is he used the spot to make a subtle political statement. Khalifa was wearing a shirt that said “legalize it” and also made a smoking gesture before delivering his pitch.

Even though Khalifa was popular with many of the Pirates’ players as well as the fans, MLB wasn’t too happy with the marijuana endorsement. They sent this statement:

Wiz Khalifa is a big Pittsburgh guy and one of his famous songs is “Black and Yellow” about the city’s sports teams. He also has an album titled “Rolling Papers,” so you should probably be prepared for this sort of thing when you have him throw out a first pitch. It’s like asking Snoop Dogg to throw out the first pitch and getting upset if he does something similar. It comes with a territory; you may end up ticking off some parents while trying to appeal to their kids.

Jordan Leandre sends funny tweets after botching first pitch (Video)

Jordan Leandre pitch

Boston Red Sox fan Jordan Leandre sent some really funny tweets after his botched ceremonial first pitch prior to Wednesday’s Red Sox-Cardinals game went viral.

Leandre, a Ewing’s sarcoma survivor who sang the national anthem and ran the bases around Fenway Park as a kid, threw out the first pitch while surrounded by the 1967 Red Sox. He sailed his pitch over his catcher, and it hit a photographer in the nuggets.

Leandre maintained his sense of humor despite the embarrassing throw,

You have to appreciate someone who’s able to laugh at himself.

Jameis Winston brings the heat in first pitch at Rays game

Jameis Winston first pitch

Jameis Winston showed off his impressive arm while throwing out the first pitch prior to Sunday’s Tampa Bay Rays-Texas Rangers game.

Winston was at Tropicana Field to visit with the Rays and some fans prior to the game. He then fired a missile when throwing out the first pitch:

The heat and accuracy on the pitch from Winston should not come as a surprise. The Buccaneers quarterback was a two-sport athlete at Florida State. He was particularly effective as a reliever in 2014, racking up seven saves while posting a 1.08 ERA. He probably could hold his own in the Rays’ minor league system if he wanted to give baseball a shot.

Josh Jackson threw out one of the worst first pitches you’ll ever see

Many draft pundits believed the Phoenix Suns were lucky to have Kansas swingman Josh Jackson fall to them at No. 4. Some NBA experts, including ESPN’s Jalen Rose, had said Jackson was the best player in the whole draft.

Jackson is a dunk machine, an athletic freak who can fly above the rim and play lockdown perimeter defense with the best of them. If you’ve watched him play basketball, you probably assume his insane athletic ability translates to other sports.

Maybe that’s true, but we now know Jackson should stay far away from a baseball diamond. He and Arizona Cardinals first-round pick Haason Reddick, a linebacker from Temple, threw out the ceremonial first pitches at the Arizona Diamondbacks game Friday night.

Reddick’s pitch was perfectly normal. Jackson’s was…well, he probably wants to forget about it. It was reminiscent of 50 Cent’s legendary first pitch at a Mets game in 2014.

Curtis’ opening pitch was probably worse, but there’s definitely an argument to be made that Jackson’s was just as bad. Jackson took it in stride and laughed at himself, though.

Jackson, just 24 hours removed from the biggest night of his life, found himself getting roasted on Twitter.

Lonzo Ball threw out the first pitch at the Dodgers’ game Friday night, and though his pitch was nothing special, it was definitely better than Jackson’s.

Jackson’s new team didn’t seem too bothered by it. He just has to stick to basketball.

Sidney Crosby throws strike on first pitch at Pirates game

Sidney Crosby first pitch

Sidney Crosby threw out the first pitch before Tuesday’s Pirates-Rockies game, and he proved that he has some talent in baseball too.

The Penguins captain decided to make his ceremonial first pitch from the rubber and threw a strike:

Crosby apparently proved his Penguins teammates wrong with his pitch:

They must have missed the time a handful of years back when Crosby took batting practice at PNC Park in Pittsburgh and crushed a home run:

The man clearly has some natural ability as a multi-sport athlete.

Draft prospect DeMarcus Walker throws out horrendous first pitch (Video)

Move over, 50 Cent, there’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to the worst ceremonial first pitch in baseball history.

Former Florida State outside linebacker DeMarcus Walker threw out the first pitch at a Seminoles baseball game this week, and let’s just say he didn’t appear to be warmed up properly. Be warned that the following may be considered NSFW:

At least 50 Cent reached the plate, though his toss was juuuuust a bit outside (video here).

Fortunately, Walker does not have to throw a baseball for a living. He’s projected to go somewhere in the middle of the NFL Draft next week. Thank goodness for that.

Miss Texas USA completely bombs first pitch attempt (Video)

Miss Texas USA baseball

Miss Texas USA 2016 unfortunately will go down on the long list of honorary guests who have botched their ceremonial first pitch.

Daniella Rodriguez, Miss Texas USA, attempted to throw out the first pitch before Wednesday’s Astros game, and it did not go well. Rodriguez, wearing about five-inch platforms, spiked her pitch into the ground:

To be fair, it would be a challenge for Greg Maddux to throw a strike in shoes like that. And at least her toss was better than this one from 50 Cent.

Bryce Harper holds Katie Ledecky’s Olympic medals for first pitch

Katie Ledecky Bryce Harper

Olympic hero Katie Ledecky was in her hometown of Washington D.C. on Wednesday to throw out the first pitch prior to a Beltway Series game, and she humorously turned MVP Bryce Harper into her personal concierge.

Ledecky won four gold medals and a silver at the Rio Olympics and brought them all with her to Nationals Park. But she wasn’t about to make her first pitch with them all around her neck, so she had the reigning NL MVP hold them for her, which made for a great photo:

Ledecky also gets credit for throwing a strike:

We’re glad the Nats finally found some use for that Harper guy.

Charles Barkley’s first pitch at Cubs game was just off the mark (Video)

Charles Barkley was one heck of a basketball player, but his talents on the court certainly did not transfer to the diamond.

Sir Charles threw out the first pitch before Tuesday’s Cubs-Reds game at Wrigley Field and his pitch was not one of the best we’ve seen. If a batter were in the box, the pitch probably would have hit him in the leg, not that it would have hurt at Chuck’s velocity.

Barkley later did an interview with FOX Sports and talked about the first pitch. He said he didn’t really play baseball growing up and said this was his first time throwing out a first pitch.

At least Chuck didn’t look completely “ridiculus” on his toss.

Charles Barkley first pitch

Astros fan spikes terrible first pitch (Video)

Is it just me, or has this been one of the worst years for ceremonial first pitches that Major League Baseball has ever seen? A Houston Astros fan may have topped them all on Tuesday night.

As you can see, the young lady spiked the ball directly into the ground. She obviously just couldn’t get her fingers to let go of their grasp on the ball, and the end result was a pitch that was almost as bad as the underhand toss we saw from Miss Texas earlier this month.


Unlike Bob Costas, the Astros fan didn’t ask for a second chance. She took her lumps and went to retrieve her souvenir before accepting a much-needed hug from Astros mascot Orbit. At least she went down gracefully.

H/T Cut 4