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#pounditSaturday, April 17, 2021

Articles tagged: First Pitch

Video: Dr. Anthony Fauci throws out embarrassing first pitch

Dr. Anthony Fauci had the honor of throwing out the first pitch before the first game of the 2020 MLB season, and it’s one he probably would like to have back.

Fauci threw out the first pitch before the Washington Nationals-New York Yankees game at Nationals Park in D.C. on Thursday, and he missed the strike zone by a large margin. His pitch ended up part way up the first base line:

Fauci, 79, has risen to prominence this year due to his role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which has led him to be influential in the Trump Administration’s White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Now, he joins a group of infamy for terrible first pitches, such as this one and this one.

Watch: Bill Walton throws out embarrassing first pitch

Bill Walton

Now we know why basketball was Bill Walton’s sport.

The San Diego native threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Thursday’s Padres-Colorado Rockies game. The 7-footer’s throw was lacking in the accuracy department and went wide of home plate by several feet, even missing the batter’s box:

That wasn’t as bad as the brutal pitch we saw earlier this season at a White Sox game, but it wasn’t good. Walton should ask for a shot at redemption. There is no way the former NBA Finals MVP wants to go out like that.

Watch: Matt Nagy lights up radar gun on first pitch at White Sox game

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday’s Chicago White Sox-Detroit Tigers game, and he meant business.

Nagy gave his first hint about how the first pitch would go when he started rubbing the ball up before he went out to the mound like a true pro.

Then when he got out to the hill, he went into a full windup and brought the heat.

Nice gun on him. That’s probably the most impressive first pitch at a White Sox game since this excellent effort.

Watch: Cameraman gets beaned by hilariously awful first pitch

Monday marked the five-year anniversary of what is widely recognized as the worst ceremonial first pitch of all-time: 50 Cent’s atrocious effort. An unnamed Chicago White Sox employee (who got the honor by being named Employee of the Month) paid a belated homage to that disaster by turning in one of the worst–and funniest–first pitch efforts ever.

Here you go:

This effort came in a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox, who engaged in some scuffling over Tim Anderson’s bat flip earlier this year. Perhaps this is just an extension of the bean ball battles, and the camera man was just collateral damage. The good news is that very few people were there live to see it with early spring conditions hitting the Chicago area and with the game being moved up 30 minutes (after the two teams finished Monday’s suspended game earlier in the evening) because of a fast-approaching severe storm. The bad news is that things travel fast on the internet.

Watch: Tommy Lasorda throws out first pitch before Game 3

Tommy Lasorda

Los Angeles Dodgers icon Tommy Lasorda threw out the first pitch before Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night.

The Dodgers brought Lasorda out to the mound on a cart along with Magic Johnson, and he threw out the first pitch. Take a look:

Lasorda, 91, has been with the Dodgers organization for seven decades. He actually pitched for the Dodgers in 1954 and 1955 and later managed the team to two World Series.

Even at 91, Lasorda still parties with the team.

Watch: Christian Yelich’s brother throws out first pitch after military discharge

Christian Cameron Yelich

Cameron Yelich, the brother of Milwaukee Brewers MVP contender Christian Yelich, threw out the first pitch prior to Friday’s Brewers-Detroit Tigers game to much fanfare.

Cameron threw the pitch to brother Christian and then pumped up the crowd afterwards:

Cameron joined the Marines after high school and was honorably discharged after serving four years following his enlistment upon graduating high school. Prior to Friday, he hadn’t seen an MLB game in person since 2016.

Cameron traveled to Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Hawaii as part of his military service. An article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel earlier this year said he recently had been promoted to sergeant.

Christian homered on Friday with his brother in attendance and may end up capturing the NL MVP award while potentially leading the Brewers to the NL Central crown.

“Crazy, crazy year. Super proud of him. Hopefully he gets that MVP,” Cameron said of his brother.

Watch: Sister Mary Jo’s encore first pitch did not go so well

Sister Mary Jo

Sister Mary Jo wowed fans with an impressive ceremonial first pitch prior to a Chicago White Sox game earlier this year, but her encore performance didn’t go as well.

The White Sox invited the pride of Marian Catholic to throw out the first pitch before Saturday’s White Sox-Cubs game. Just like her first pitch a month earlier, Sister Mary Jo bounced the ball off her arm before firing in her pitch. Only this time, her pitched bounced before reaching the catcher.

Sister Mary Jo had thrown a nearly perfect pitch her last time out, which led to her going viral and getting a bobblehead doll. That was a tough act to replicate.

Ben Simmons’ ceremonial first pitch had interesting twist

Ben Simmons was invited to Citizens Bank Park this weekend to throw out the first pitch at a Philadelphia Phillies game, and his appearance was notable in more ways than one.

The Philadelphia 76ers star had the ceremonial honors before Saturday’s game between the Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays and threw a near-perfect strike of a first pitch … with his right hand. Take a look:

It was certainly an interesting twist for the 21-year-old Simmons, who shoots the basketball with his left hand. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer pointed out the discrepancy between Simmons’ dominant hand on jumpers and his dominant hand in seemingly every other facet of life.

While Simmons put together one of the most impressive rookie years in NBA history (averaging 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game), his inability to shoot is a major cap on his ceiling as a player. The former No. 1 overall pick failed to hit a single three-pointer this season and attempted just 12 of them in total all year (all on end-of-clock heaves).

Simmons himself recently acknowledged that he needs to improve that part of his game, and Saturday’s display may inevitably lead to questions about if he should consider shooting with his right hand instead.

Watch: Marlins fan uses first pitch to propose to girlfriend

Miami Marlins

A Miami Marlins fan used a ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday’s game as an opportunity to propose to his girlfriend.

A woman named Marlyn was set to sing the national anthem and throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Marlins-Los Angeles Dodgers game. The man catching behind home plate happened to be her boyfriend, who then proposed.

The Marlins filmed a video with the man, Rafael, before his proposal, in which he described his plan. They posted that to Twitter, which included the best part — instead of a ring box, the engagement ring was stored inside a hollowed-out baseball.

Watch: Akbar Gbaja-Biamila throws terrible first pitch at Phillies game

Akbar Gbaja Biamila

Akbar Gbaja-Biamila earned himself a place on a lowlight reel for first pitches.

The former NFL player and current co-host of “American Ninja Warrior” threw out the first pitch prior to Thursday’s Philadelphia Phillies-San Francisco Giants game. Although he showed interesting form on his leg kick, his pitch went terribly.

Maybe he was just investing a new type of pitch called the spike. How does it compare to 50 Cent’s infamous effort?