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NFL Great Joe Montana Makes Rounds, Shakes Up Major League Baseball

Joe Montana throws out the first pitch in Seattle on July 2.
Joe Montana throws out the first pitch in Seattle on July 2.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Orly Rios Jr.Analyst IIJuly 21, 2011

To some, he's known simply as the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football. To others, he's known as "Joe Cool."

To baseball fans fortunate enough to have been in the presence lately of the four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Joe Montana, they may simply come to know him by a couple of other names: inspirational Joe or awestruck Joe.

Case in point:

July 2, 2011. The Seattle Mariners are hosting the San Diego Padres in the series finale. The Mariners are in a funk, winning just twice in their last nine games.

Former 49ers quarterback and NFL legend Montana, donning his iconic No. 16 jersey with the name Montana stitched into the back, throws out the first pitch.

The result: Seattle falls to San Diego 1-0 thanks to a much-disputed walk by Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin. Problem is, Maybin walked after just three balls rather than the four necessary for a walk. Maybin scored later in the inning, giving San Diego the win.

The next day, Seattle defeated San Diego 3-1 and reeled off three consecutive wins to go a game over .500 (since then, the Mariners have lost 10 games in a row and have fallen to 43-53).

July 18, 2011. The Los Angeles Dodgers are playing the San Fransisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco when Dodgers all-star slugger Matt Kemp is on deck in the eighth inning. Sitting behind Matt Kemp is none other than Joe Montana and his wife, Jennifer.

Montana calls over to Kemp and the two have a quick conversation. Kemp then goes to bat and strikes out as the Dodgers fall 5-0.

In Seattle, the only runner to cross the plate happened to walk thanks to a lapse in judgement by everybody on the field.

In San Francisco, a friendly conversation lead to all-star Matt Kemp striking out.

Joe Montana's impact in football can never be questioned. His impact on baseball, however, may be controversial.

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