The Ceremonial First Pitch is a baseball tradition that dates back well over a century, where a selected guest of honour throws a pitch from the pitcher’s mound to signify the end of the pre-game festivities, and the start of the game. All kinds of people are selected to throw out the first pitch, from celebrities to presidents – though a lot of the time, the pitch is thrown out by a local person who might be notable for one reason or another.
Last night, before hosting the St. Louis Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox invited local kid Jordan Leandre to throw the first pitch, something he’s done numerous times at Fenway Park after winning his battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Now a competitive baseball player himself (playing first base and pitching), it’s the perfect opportunity to show off his arm… Though last night’s pitch did not go exactly as planned…
“Jordan, fire it in there!”
Now a lot of people might call that one of the worst first pitches of all time, but I think it’s one of the best, if only because of the entertainment value. I mean, he clearly didn’t mean to miss that throw, but it soon became obvious (to everyone except the photographer that was hit) where it was going. That photographer, Tony Capobianco, is pretty committed to his job, and managed to snap a pretty fantastic photo of the moment:
It seems, based on his tweet later on, that Capobianco was no worse for wear:
Neither have I https://t.co/l6MxZWhPdG
— Tony Capobianco (@TonyCapobianco) August 16, 2017
And Leandre took to Twitter to have a little laugh about it too:
Had to get him off the plate somehow ♂️
— Jordan Leandre (@Jordan_BBS) August 16, 2017
Now if we’re going to compare this to some of the worst first pitches of all time, I’d say it might make the list based on where it ended up… But I mean, it could have been worse. He could have spiked it off the ground in front of the plate, or launched it sailing over the backstop behind the catcher…
… And while I like this pitch for its entertainment value, technically speaking, it could be a lot more sound. Here’s some examples of great first pitches:
Actually, one of the better first pitches I’ve ever seen came from former US President George W. Bush, who fired a strike to kick off Game 3 of the 2001 World Series in New York, not long after 9/11:
Now as painful as that pitch to the junk must have been for that photographer, I bet it didn’t hurt as much as taking a home run ball to the family jewels like this Pittsburgh Pirates fan did recently:
You can find out more about how that came about in my blog HERE… And remember – always keep your eye on the ball!