Throwing out the ceremonial pitch can be quite the nerve-wracking experience.
The pressure of being on a big league mound with thousands of spectators looking onwards can make the average person’s stomach churn. Unless you’re a celebrity that’s just there to create some fan interest – like rapper 50 Cent did back in 2014 at Citi Field in New York – then you’re usually not too concerned with how the pitch turns out.
It significantly helps if the person throwing out the first pitch as some prior baseball experience, so they can at least hope the ball locates over the plate and somewhere in the vicinity of the strike zone. The fear of not throwing it airborne or bouncing it in the dirt to avoid any embarrassment is definitely real, especially in today’s world where social media will have a “ball” with it, or so you’d think.
On Wednesday night in Boston, Jordan Leandre, a high school pitcher who plays in the New England area, was on hand at Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in front of the “Impossible Dream” Boston Red Sox team that captured the 1967 American League pennant. Mike Andrews, who caught for that 67’ Red Sox team, was behind the plate and ready to do best pitch framing work.
There was just one problem: the pitch sailed well over Andrews’ head, and struck an unsuspecting camera operator right in the junk.
The camera operator doesn’t even flinch, and managed to snap a picture prior to experiencing some of the worst pain in his life.
Talk about a ballsy effort.
At least Tony was in good spirits after, and managed to make light of the situation.
Leandre owned up to the plunking and made fun of himself on Twitter shortly after.
Leandre will surely become the poster child for any ceremonial pitch mishaps in the future. Here’s some of the best, and worst, from over the years.
Earlier this summer, the Hanson brothers invaded Rochester to shoot out the first pitch on Slap Shot Night. Chicago Steel captain Mark Johnstone used the unorthodox method, this time opting for a wrist shot at a White Sox game. After the Penguins second Stanley Cup in as many years, Sidney Crosby was on the mound at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
But nothing this summer compared to hilarity tonight in Boston, unless you ask cameraman Tony.