Is there anything Colin Kaepernick can't do?
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback was at AT&T Park on Friday to throw out the first pitch for the San Francisco Giants' contest against the Miami Marlins. On almost all occasions, an athlete throwing out a first pitch (and doing so well) wouldn't be newsworthy.
Colin Kaepernick isn't most athletes. Winding up with a cool, collected motion that has to be familiar to 49ers fans, Kaepernick tossed in one of the fastest first pitches you'll ever see.
Here is a look at the video so you can see for yourself:
It's obvious from the clip that the pitch was coming in red-hot—way faster than the cameramen and catcher expected. But how fast? According to the 49ers' Twitter page and Kaepernick, the 25-year-old signal-caller's throw came in at a whopping 87 miles per hour:
Sergio Romo, not wearing any gear at the time, was the recipient of the toss. Afterward, the duo posed for one of the more jovial post-first pitch pictures that you'll ever see; perhaps Romo was merely smiling to hide the throbbing pain in his hand.
For those who have followed Kaepernick's journey to the top of the 49ers' depth chart, seeing him toss a heater isn't a surprise. The NFC champion quarterback, who spent his collegiate days under center at Nevada, was actually more highly touted as a baseball prospect in high school than he was as a football prospect.
Equipped with the same intimidating mound presence fans saw on Friday night, Kaepernick had a mid-90s fastball that made him one of the hottest pitching recruits in California. While he received just one FBS football scholarship, Kaepernick's baseball options were seemingly unlimited. As a senior, Kaepernick went 9-2 with a 1.27 ERA while striking out 97 batters in just 83 innings, including two no-hitters.
Instead of sticking with baseball, though, Kaepernick went to Nevada, and the rest is history. Following his dream led him to become one of the most decorated quarterbacks in that school's history and eventually took him all the way to Super Bowl XLVII as San Francisco's starting quarterback.
In fact, it is now quite clear that Kaepernick never really looked back after giving up baseball. He noted on his Twitter feed that Friday night was the first time he had picked up a baseball in seven years:
Picking up a baseball for the first time in 7 yrs tomorrow to throw out the first pitch for the… http://t.co/vQiKcekLWQ— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) June 21, 2013
Perhaps that's the most impressive fact of all.
Even after he gave up the game, baseball has continued to follow him. The Chicago Cubs still drafted him in the 43rd round of the 2009 MLB draft, which again forced Kaepernick to choose what he loved over a possible money-making opportunity.
Something tells me Kaepernick and 49ers fans are awfully happy he isn't hanging out in the Windy City right about now.
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