» Clip Reel: Worst Opening Day Pitches Ever

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Rick has never written a serious thing in his life, some of which can be found at ESPN the Magazine, McSweeney's, Radar Magazine, Deadspin, Flak Magazine and The Morning News. The rest can be found here. He lives in Los Angeles, is a White Sox fan, and maintains a personal blog.

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Ceremonial first pitches are a dangerous proposition for all involved. The best one can hope for is that whoever the celebrity/sports figure/politician designated for the assignment get the pitch at least halfway to the plate, at which point people will cheer for a moment and forget about the pitch by the 2nd inning. The worst that can happen is a moment of hilarity that is captured on video and replayed for the rest of time on YouTube.

So, in honor of today’s slate of Opening Day baseball games, we’re going to focus on the negative. Without further adieu, the five worst ceremonial first pitches ever thrown:

“Cincinnati Mayor Throws Out First Pitch”

This classic miscue can easily contend for the top spot in worst pitches ever not only because the mayor’s aim was off by, oh, let’s say 30 feet, but the fact that, in one fell swoop, he’s lost all credibility with his constituency. Is there any way he can claim to be a straight shooter again? (Ba-dum-bum!)

“First Pitch Polish Sinker”

I’m still not sure who this is throwing out the first pitch – which is probably as good as the gentlemen can hope for – but the guy has the arm strength of Mariah Carey. Apparently, PETCO isn’t the pitcher’s park we all thought it was.

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