The St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates got the 2016 MLB season underway Sunday afternoon, but not before a special guest took the mound.
Pittsburgh Panthers running back James Conner had the honor of kicking off the season by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. In December, the junior announced he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Two months later, he was back with his team on the gridiron.
While he's used to taking handoffs and catching passes, he had the opportunity to show off his arm at PNC Park on Sunday. The toss came up a bit short, which led Conner to give pitchers their due for being able to find the strike zone consistently:
Conner echoed that sentiment—and gave a shoutout to the city of Pittsburgh for supporting him—during his interview with Root Sports' Robby Incmikoski:
Ball or strike, it's great to see Conner on the field.