In theory, agreeing to throw the ceremonial first pitch in baseball sounds like a no-brainer. But even though it comes with free tickets to the game and a chance to meet and greet some players, it's actually a relatively high-risk/low-reward scenario.
Generally the best-case scenario is that you come up big with a pitch that doesn't embarrass your friends and family but is largely forgotten seconds after it happens. While the worst-case scenario is that you stumble into history as one of the many "first pitch FAIL" videos that are lining the walls of the halls inside the Baseball Wall of Shame.
This is particularly true for anyone with name recognition, like an athlete or actor, who gets tapped for the job. These people already have the money for good seats and fame that gives them access to the players, so they gain almost nothing by accepting the invitation. Nobody will care if their pitch is solid or passable, but they risk lifelong humiliation if they're terrible.
Right, John Wall?
Wizards point guard John Wall has probably regretted every day of his life since he through out that first pitch for the Nationals back in 2011. Which is totally fair—he really embarrassed himself. What isn't fair is that so many badass first pitches slide under the radar, at least compared to their FAIL equivalents.
This is America, so the threat of being ridiculed for your public failures is always going to be a part of the equation. But that needs to be balanced out by giving props to those who succeed where others have failed miserably—it's a karma thing.
So let's take a look at 20 totally badass first pitches.