The grass has been clipped. The field has been raked. The smell of hot dogs, peanuts and over-priced beer is in the air. Yes, it's baseball season once again. That means in another 2,400 games (give or take), we'll have a new World Series Champion. It also means there are going to be roughly that same number of ceremonial first pitches thrown over the next six months, including some from your favorite singers, actors, athletes and even politicians. Of those 2,400 pitches, about four are actually going to be good.
The ceremonial first pitch has been a part of the American baseball season since the early 1900s, with Presidents like Taft and Wilson engaging in the tradition first. Back then though, the "pitch" was actually thrown from the President's seat in the stands. It wasn't until President Reagan stepped onto the field ahead of a Baltimore Orioles game that the idea of attempting to actually throw over home plate was broached.
Today, first pitches come from more than just the President, with former players, Santa Clauses, animals and cartoon characters taking part in the pre-game tradition. While there have been some good or even great first pitches over the last century, it's not all that exciting or memorable when a person shows themselves capable of throwing a ball 60 feet. When someone blows it completely, those are the moments that make showing up to ballpark early truly worth it.
2010 may not seem like it was that long ago, but seven years of growth has done Justin Bieber a whole lot of good. Just look at that little baby face and floppy hair. It's hard to believe that's the same person that turned into this guy.
Maybe if he had some of the muscles back then, his pitch could have actually found the target. Then again, he is from Canada and it's not like baseball is every kid's first choice of sport growing up.
What is it with these Canadian stars and their inability to get the job done? Avril Lavigne even had a little bit of extra assistance with the Blue Jays moving the plate closer to the mound by about 10', and she still managed to throw it wide.
The situation is made even worse as Avril admits to having played baseball and being a pitcher when she was younger. If that's how she pitched back then, maybe it's a good thing she got into skating.
In 2014, then President Barack Obama showed up for a Washington Nationals game to deliver the first pitch. Though he was met with a smattering of boos before even stepping out of the dugout, he earned the ire of an entire stadium when he pulled his White Sox hat on when he got to the mound.
Perhaps it was those jeers that unnerved him enough to shake his usually calm demeanor because his pitch was way high and way outside. It wouldn't have been unexpected at all for future requests for the President to be met by a firm, "No thanks, Obama."
The year was 1998. The Chicago Bulls had just beaten the Utah Jazz for the second straight season to earn their sixth NBA Championship. It was Michael Jordan's farewell season with the team, but Chicago went on to honor its greatest sports hero with the gift of throwing out the first pitch at a Cubs game.
Now, Jordan left basketball for a time to focus on his baseball career, so it's not like he didn't have years of experience to draw on when throwing the ball. That didn't stop him from putting his pitch way up and to the right, making it nearly uncatchable for Sammy Sosa. There's a reason Michael came back to basketball, and it wasn't because he was just too good at baseball.
Na-na-na-na, it's the one and only D-O-double-G. Na-na-na-na, I'm glad this video is of Snoop and not me.
Woof, this is one bad look for Snoop Dogg, aka DJ Snoopadelic, who was all set to perform after the Padres game where he threw out the first pitch. I don't know how his time at the turntables went, but if this throw is any indication of how he scratches records, those in attendance were not in for a pleasant night.
Being a K-Pop idol certainly has its perks, but based on this first pitch attempt from Girls' Generation member Tiffany Hwang, a pitching coach is not one of those benefits.
Whether or not she was blinded by the glitz and glam of Los Angeles, or the cat ears threw off her balance, there's nothing for even the most diehard Girls Generation fan to defend about this effort.
Carly, Carly, Carly. We really, really, really wanted to love this pitch, but of all the emotions we felt watching this, adoration was certainly not one of them.
It's hard to fail as miserably at throwing something as Carly Rae Jepsen did here with the baseball. Oh sure, there are more than a few worse examples (in fact, they're shockingly on this list), but even in those other attempts, the person throwing actually remembered to let go of the ball.
But seriously, what is in the water in Canada that makes you unable to throw a ball?
If you were wondering what happened to 50 Cent, and why he hasn't been able to show his face anywhere in a very long time, look no further than this... attempt... at throwing out the first pitch at a Mets game.
It would appear Mr. Cent forgot to drink his Vitamin Water before going out on the field this day, as his pitch sailed so far wide it made Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn look like Nolan Ryan. Seriously though, you can track the lack of 50 Cent in public directly to his miserable attempt at baseball because nothing ruins street cred quite like looking the fool at a Mets game.
Okay, I don't think anyone ever expected Mariah Carey to actually throw the ball over the plate, especially after she walked to the mound in a silk jacket, short shorts and stilettos. That said, you would have thought some effort might be put into actually tossing the ball. Instead, she spikes the ball mere feet from where she was standing, which barely even qualifies as a throw let alone a pitch.
Gotta give her credit though, Mariah knows how to look good even when making herself looking bad.
Oh you poor Girls' Generation idols and your lack of pitching ability.
Jessica Jung makes a good show of her first pitch, bringing a personalized glove and having a rosin bag nearby. She even goes through a pretty good wind-up, which sets you up to believe that there might be a chance for her to smoke one right down the middle of the plate. Unfortunately, it looks like she spent more time practicing her choreography than she did actually throwing the ball.
Few people can make Mariah Carey seem like a competent athlete, but Jessica does it with grace and aplomb only an idol could have.