The Best and Worst Ceremonial First Pitches at New York Stadiums
The players are waiting anxiously in the dugout. The anthem singer has just concluded their rendition of the National Anthem. Fans can practically hear the pop of the catcher's mitt, and the crack of the bat.
Before we get to all of that, however, the fans ready themselves for the ceremonial first pitch.
Between Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, New York baseball fans have seen some of the best, and some of the worst, ceremonial first pitches over the years. Here are a few of our favorites, either because of how great it was, or...well, how funny it ended up being.
Best: Hideki Matsui
Matsui returned to Yankee Stadium in 2016, and was given a huge ovation by the fans on hand. Matsui responded to the cheers with an absolute bullet down the middle of the plate, the kind of arm Yankees fans became accustomed to seeing in the outfield.
Worst: 50 Cent
50 Cent is one of the most famous names in rap and hip hop from this century, and as such, has a very stoic and tough public image. That knowledge made it even more entertaining to watch him laugh and throw his hands in the air, as his first pitch sailed wide.
Best: Jerry Seinfeld
As the titular character on one of the most famous TV series of all-time, Jerry Seinfeld has done it all in his entertainment career. That list now includes throwing a strike in his ceremonial first pitch, on the field with his childhood team.
Worst: Gary Dell'Abate (aka Baba Booey)
Needless to say, the executive producer and right-hand man to Howard Stern received a few "Baba Boos" for his first pitch performance at Citi Field. Knowing Stern and Company's sense of humor, I'm sure Dell'Abate never had to hear about it again.
Best: Mariano Rivera (x2)
Mariano Rivera has the best cut fastball of all-time. There's no argument that will prove otherwise. It's so good, as a matter of fact, that Rivera brought it back out for his first pitch.
Oh yeah, and he replicated his success a second time, too.
Worst: Serena Williams
Just because you're one of the most dominant athletes of all-time, doesn't mean you can do everything well on the first try. Serena Williams holds countless career tennis records, and may have wanted to pull out her tennis racket and try her first pitch again.
Best: George Bush
Last, but certainly not least, arguably the most famous first pitch of all-time happened at Yankee Stadium in 2001. President George Bush threw out the first pitch after September 11th, and delivered a strike with the eyes of the nation watching.