The Best and Worst First Pitches Ever

Dan GartlandContributor IMay 9, 2014

The Best and Worst First Pitches Ever

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    Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    Sure, the Tyrannosaurus Rex has been extinct for 66 million years, but that didn't stop one from throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Wednesday's game between the San Diego Padres and the Kansas City Royals.

    From dinosaurs to gymnasts, the tradition of the first pitch has sure changed a lot since President Taft's first toss from the stands at DC's Griffith Stadium in 1910, which made us wonder—what are the best (and worst) first pitches in history?

T-Rex in San Diego

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    Fear not, Jurassic Park has no basis in reality. The terrifying predator that tossed the first pitch Wednesday in San Diego was, according to NBC, just a person in a costume, there to promote a theatrical performance called Walking with Dinosaurs.

    Judging by the pretty decent throw, I'd be willing to bet living dinosaur Jamie Moyer was the guy inside the costume.

South Korean Gymnast's Twirling Motion

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    Throwing a baseball anywhere near the plate can be tough—just ask Rick Ankiel. That's why this South Korean gymnast's pitch is so impressive. Her mechanics are a bit unorthodox. I mean, that leg kick is higher than Orlando Hernandez's, but she still throws a solid pitch.

Back-Flipping Texas Woman

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    MLB ambitiously calls this "the greatest flipping first pitch you've ever seen" when in reality is pales in comparison to the Korean gymnast. This woman lacks the graceful fluidity of the gymnast, not to mention her baseball skills leave something to be desired.


George Bush, Post-9/11

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    This is a very good first pitch by itself, but given the context it's a great first pitch.

    October 30, 2001. Six weeks after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Just President George W. Bush's appearance in Yankee Stadium was enough to make the crowd erupt in patriotic applause. And the cheers got even louder when Bush, unencumbered by his bulletproof vest, delivered a near-perfect strike.

Cincinnati Mayor's Dreadful Display

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    If George Bush is the gold standard for politicians' first pitches, former Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory is the opposite. The worst part has to be that Mallory brought a glove with him. That's a real rookie move. 

Carly Rae Jepsen: Ball Me Maybe

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    Carly Rae Jepsen's first pitch is eerily similar to Mayor Mallory's, but she gets major bonus points for laughing off her mistake. At least she looks like she's having fun.

Jordan Farmar Shows Up Nick Young

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    It's always surprising how many professional athletes can't throw a baseball 60 feet. Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar does a good job, but his teammate Nick Young sends his pitch sailing far, far over the catcher's head. Stick to basketball, Swaggy P.

John Wall's Dribbler

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    What is it with basketball players and terrible first pitches? John Wall's here is even worse than Nick Young's. At least Young reached the plate (and then some). Wall looks like he's trying to make a bounce pass to a back-door cutter. 

Colin Kaepernick Brings the Heat

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    Everyone knows Colin Kaepernick can throw a football better than almost anyone in the world, but the 49ers quarterback was also a tremendous high school pitcher, good enough to be drafted in the 43rd round by the Chicago Cubs. This pitch sailed on him a bit, though. Maybe he didn't get to warm up.

Russell Wilson Shows off His Skills

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    Unlike Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson actually pursued a professional baseball career, before settling on being a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Wilson takes his first pitch a little less seriously than Kaepernick, throwing a nice, easy ball just off the plate.