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How to Throw a Terrible First Pitch

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2014

How to Throw a Terrible First Pitch

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    JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press

    Although getting the chance to throw a first pitch is an amazing honor, the excitement can quickly turn to nerves once a person realizes that thousands of people will be watching their attempt.

    Sure, there have been really good first pitches before, but, more often than not, we've seen ones that prove that throwing a baseball can be harder than it looks.

    So how does one throw a poor first pitch? Keep reading and you'll see some examples.

Try Something Acrobatic

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    Multitasking can be difficult for some, and while throwing a first pitch, it should be avoided at all costs.

    Just ask Miss Texas 2014, Monique Evans, who seemed to be trying to incorporate some kind of ballet move into her first pitch prior to a Texas Rangers game earlier this year.

    Not to beat a dead horse here, but Evans' toss ended up being a slow roller that looked more like infield practice than anything else.

Hold onto the Ball Too Long

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    Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen may have had a smash hit with her song, "Call Me Maybe," a few years ago, but she really struck out while tossing her first pitch before a Tampa Bay Rays game last year.

    Much like the aforementioned Monique Evans, Jepsen's attempt landed way short after she held onto the ball too long, and the "pitch" ended up rolling more toward first base than home plate.

    At least she was able to laugh it off, though.

Grow Up Rapping Instead of Playing Little League

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    This is one that we all saw just a few months ago—and it was talked about as being one of the worst first pitches in history!

    Rapper 50 Cent can do a lot of things well, but apparently throwing a baseball isn't one of them.

    Maybe 50 is just too bulky to whip his arm around his body, because his toss nearly hit the camera guys standing about 10 feet away from the platenowhere near the catcher's mitt. 

Not Have the Strength to Get It to Home Plate

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    Joan Steinbrenner, wife of longtime New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, didn't seem to take too many notes on how to properly throw a baseball.

    Although Steinbrenner displayed decent form with her arm slot—even if she wasn't standing on the mound—she lacked the oomph it takes to get a ball across home plate, making the first pitch at the newly named spring training stadium of the Yanks one that won't be forgotten.

    It might be time for Mrs. Steinbrenner to get some pointers from some of the pitchers.

Try to Throw a Pitch Other Than a Straight Fastball

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    Wait, who said that you're allowed to get a redo on a first pitch?

    Apparently, longtime sports commentator Bob Costas knew about taking a mulligan, as he did just that last week following his toss before a St. Louis Cardinals game.

    Mixing things up a bit, Costas actually put a little mustard on the ball, breaking away from the usual fastball and going with, what appeared to be, a slider.

    His first one was a dud, but that second one at least caught a bit of the plate.

Be Confused About What Sport You're Playing

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    He's one of the best and most versatile power forwards the NBA has seen in the past 25 years, but Dallas Mavericks All-Star Dirk Nowitzki's skills don't quite translate to the baseball diamond.

    Unlike draining three-pointers and step backs on the hardwood, Nowitzki's athleticism seems to dip when standing on a pitcher's mound, as he showed here with this first-pitch attempt a few years ago.

    Nearly sailing the pitch over everything, he must have been confused and thought that home plate is 10 feet off the ground like a basketball hoop is.

Wear High Heels

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    Now, I don't want to sound mean or anything, but even before the Kardashians stepped up to toss out the first pitch at a Los Angeles Dodgers game, no one could have expected it to go well, right?

    Walking out there in high heels, the ladies proved to everyone that no pitcher should wear designer shoes while attempting to throw a strike.

    Really, when was the last time anyone saw a catcher hop out of the way when a ball is headed at him?

Forget How to Throw a Baseball

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    He may have enjoyed a Hall of Fame career, but former pitcher Nolan Ryan must have forgotten how to throw a baseball properly.

    Taking the mound to toss out the first pitch before Opening Day for his original team, the Houston Astros, Ryan left fans in the stadium amazed at how poor his attempt was, hurling it wildly to the right of home plate.

    Not even a decent attempt by former Astro Craig Biggio could save Ryan from the embarrassment of this miserable throw.

Be Mariah Carey

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    After seeing this attempt again by pop star Mariah Carey, I've come to the conclusion that singers should never attempt to play a sport.

    I honestly don't know what to say about Carey's attempt except for the fact that wearing heels, sunglasses and a skin-tight jacket could not have been a good idea for throwing out a first pitch.

    Although, given the way the ball trickled to home plate, I'm not convinced Carey's attire was the only problem with her attempt.

Forget That You're Michael Jordan

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    Arguably the greatest basketball player to ever lace 'em up, six-time NBA champ Michael Jordan usually doesn't do anything poorly.

    And even though MJ had a brief, minor league baseball career in the mid-1990s as an outfielder, he still wasn't able to throw a decent first pitch before a Chicago Cubs game back in 1998.

    If there was any doubt Jordan shouldn't have stayed in baseball, this toss probably put any uncertainty to bed, as the ball sailed over former Cubs player Sammy Sosa's head.

Have Zero Throwing Form Whatsoever

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    Washington Wizards point guard John Wall can seemingly do it all while playing basketball, with incredible athleticism that is unmatched by most guys his size.

    Unfortunately, he didn't bring some of those skills to the baseball diamond, as he delivered this terrible one-hopper prior to a Washington Nationals game a couple years back.

    Wall's accustomed to bounce passes while playing hoops, so I'm sure that's all he was going for with this toss.

Give the Impression That You Know What You're Doing

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    In what seems like a strange move, South Korean pop singer Jessica Jung had a batter standing in the box during her first-pitch attempt in 2012.

    Luckily for the guy in the box, though, Jung's poor pitch went straight into the ground as if she were spiking a football, not throwing a baseball.

    Sorry, but the furry, pink glove doesn't help her case.

Aim for the Umpire Instead of Home Plate

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    Getting tossed by an umpire is never a good thing, but before former Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory got the boot, I'm not sure any of us had ever seen someone do it because of a bad first pitch.

    But, as anyone can tell, seeing how Mallory's toss went wild and hit the feet of the ump, who was a good 15 feet from home plate, the official had no choice but to ring up the former politician.

    The announcers said the mayor wanted a redo, but I shudder to think how that might have turned out.

Wear Sunglasses While Throwing

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    I don't want to seem like I'm crapping all over former Olympic star Carl Lewis, but who would have thought that he wouldn't be good at other things involved with sports.

    Whether that means failing at singing the National Anthem or trying to throw a first pitch before a baseball game, Lewis definitely doesn't bring his gold-medal ability—but he could still dust me if we competed on a track.

    Maybe the sunglasses tinted his view of where home plate really was, because, even after a second attempt, the result still wasn't all that good.

Do Everything Wrong Like Gary Dell'Abate Did

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    This is arguably the worst first pitch I've ever witnessed.

    Not only does Howard Stern's producer Gary Dell'Abate completely miss the target behind home plate, but he also nails the umpire—who was thankfully wearing his mask at the time.

    Even if Baba Booey had been trying to put some English on the ball by throwing a nasty curve, there's still no reason why his pitch should have ended up a good 15 feet from where the catcher stood.

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