The Worst Celebrity First Pitches of All Time
One of the most storied traditions in Major League Baseball is the first pitch. The honor is often reserved for celebrities and former sports stars, and even a few presidents have gotten in on the act. But sometimes asking people who aren’t known for their athletic prowess (and even some who are) can backfire in hilarious ways, which is fantastic for those of us who enjoy schadenfreude. Here are some of our favorite celebrity first pitches that you can’t help but laugh at.
Gary Dell’abate “Baba Booey”
You can’t have a list of worst celebrity first pitches without including faithful Howard Stern Show producer Gary Dell’abate. Known widely as “the worst throw in sports history,” this devastating toss went well over the pitcher’s head, only to be caught by an unsuspecting umpire. Even eight years later, the die-hard Mets fan still can’t live it down.
Carly Rae Jepsen
They asked Carly and it was crazy, because her pitch was the worst ever, maybe. OK, now that we’ve gotten that song stuck in your head for the rest of the week, take a look at what may have been the second worst pitch in the history of baseball (next to Baba Booey of course). Realistically the only way this could’ve been worse was if she had thrown it backwards somehow.
Maybe picking on poor Carly Rae isn’t fair. After all, she was a young singer known more for catchy pop tunes than baseball prowess. Perhaps a big tough guy like 50 Cent could fare a little better when asked to perform the task? Ha, just kidding. 50 flubbed it by lobbing it so far to the left he actually managed to almost plink a couple of camera operators, nearly one-hopping the ball into the stands. Maybe he should just stay in da’ club house next time.
OK, OK, so singers aren’t an athletic bunch as a group, that makes sense. Certainly giving the ball to an athlete would yield better results? Perhaps an Olympic Gold Medalist and world-class gymnast like Shawn Johnson could be up to the challenge? Not a chance. Johnson’s pitch bounced and rolled sort of near the plate, but to be fair the catcher was at least able to actually field the thing.
Maybe throwing the first pitch requires athletes of an even higher caliber than the legendary Shawn Johnson. Few can even aspire to that lofty goal, but Carl Lewis is one of these few. Named Athlete of the Century, Sportsman of the Century, and Olympian of the Century, just to name a few of his credentials, surely Lewis could get the job done. You know where this is heading, of course he didn’t. He flopped a slow roller not even halfway to the plate. It isn’t often that a pitcher could outrun his own pitch, and even if Lewis wasn’t one of the fastest men ever to live he still could’ve beat this ball to the plate.
Alright, so baseball isn’t Carl Lewis’ sport, that’s fair. But certainly an actual former professional baseball player would stand a chance of not making a fool of himself. Enter Michael Jordan, famed shoe and underwear salesman and former outfielder could get the ball over the plate. And get it over the plate he did–about 20 feet. After mugging for the camera, he must’ve wanted that picture destroyed because he plinks the cameraman standing near the backstop.
Nolan Ryan/Craig Biggio
OK what about an actual hall of famer often regarded as one of the the greatest pitchers of all time? He must be able to get the job done. For added insurance, Ryan even had top catcher Craig Biggio to throw it to. There is no way this one could go wrong. What’s that? He threw it wild right and Biggio failed to catch the retrievable ball? Huh. Well, if even Ryan and Biggio can’t get it right, then there’s little hope for the rest of us.