If you were not connected to social media on Wednesday night, you might have missed it. The thought of this being the first time you’re seeing this brings tears to my eyes. There was a first pitch at Fenway Park, and it was Godfather II. It was the Sistine Chapel. It was the moon landing. It was the first amino acids combining to form life.
It was everything.
It was thrown hard enough to surprise. Errant enough to affect the people who had no earthly indication that a baseball might be coming. And, if you’ll look closely, it hit the photographer right in the beans. Jordan Leandre is a hero, and the best part is that he knows how to have fun with his 15 decades of fame.
I think I’m slapping an 8 on this one. The unexpectedness sells it.
But is it the worst first pitch of all time? We’ll compare it to past debacles.
The classic, if only because 50 Cent’s image was as a tough guy, and then he threw a baseball like Dana Carvey’s George Will. This is one of the worst first pitches of all time — no question.
It did not hit anyone in the beans, though.
Carly Rae Jepsen
I’ll admit, I hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about how well Carly Rae Jepsen threw a baseball before, and I guess I don’t have to after. It was not a good first pitch, no.
It didn’t hit anyone in the beans, though.
Again, so we’ve learned that Mariah Carey doesn’t warm up with some long toss before her shows. The throw was bad, but there’s something about laughing at it a little too hard that makes me uncomfortable.
Also, this throw didn’t hit anyone in the beans.
This is a producer or something-or-rather for the Howard Stern Show, and it’s a personal favorite for one reason: This man’s job is to be made fun of by someone who devastates humans for a living for an audience of millions. And you can see that on his face. He’s not mad that he embarrassed himself in front of Citi Field. Oh, no, no. He had bigger problems.
It didn’t hit anyone in the beans, though.
The Official Go-Go’s YouTube page has a two-minute video of the Go-Go’s throwing out the first pitch, and it doesn’t include the actual first pitch. Do not let the Go-Go’s gaslight you. It was a tremendous first pitch.
It gets bonus points for the multiple projectiles going hither and thither. It was chaos, and I love watching all of the different reactions.
This is also a good time to announce that when I was a kid, I thought they were singing “Alex the Seal” instead of “Our Lips Are Sealed.” Feels good to get that off my chest.
Not one of those baseballs hit anyone in the beans, though.
There is a whole genre like this one: Athlete Who Was Clearly Training For Something Else His Whole Life, Like, We’re Talking His Whole Life. And that’s fine. Carl Lewis could still beat me in a foot race, and I’m just some derelict who hasn’t even been invited to throw out a first pitch. Besides, it was a quick pitch, some quick laughs, and then it was over. It’s not like he had to sit out there for several minutes like he was singing an awful national anthem.
While this is a bad first pitch, I regret to inform you that it didn’t hit anyone in the beans.
I do love this genre, though. This is what I look like when I shoot free throws. I was always younger than my peers, and I was short to begin with, so I was extra extra extra short for most of my schooling. When I showed up to my 10-year reunion at 5’8”, at least eight people stopped me and said some variation of, “Oh my god, you’re normal now!” With all that in mind, there was never a concerted effort to push me toward basketball. Never played it growing up. Never had the urge.
But I can throw a baseball a helluva lot better than John Wall, who didn’t have a lot of reasons to play baseball. And I don’t fault him for this at all.
Wall’s first pitch, though, didn’t hit anyone in the beans.
Mark Mallory (Cincinnati mayor)
All of those ones up there? They’re not sad. Mariah Carey can sing. 50 Cent isn’t just a hip-hop artist, but an entrepreneur. Baba Booey is a well-compensated celebrity producer, the Go-Go’s are legends, Carl Lewis has gold medals, and John Wall is one of the best players in the NBA. When you enter all of them into Google, a lot of things pop up, and none of them is “first pitch.”
Mark Mallory is known for mayoring. And his first pitch. Not in that order. I can name two different Cincinnati mayors, by the way. I can’t do that for Los Angeles. Watch those Cincinnati mayors.
But that throw, as errant as it was, still didn’t hit anybody in the beans.
So where does Jordan Leandre’s first pitch rank among the all-time worst first pitches?
It can’t compete with any of these, if we’re being honest.
Because it’s the best first pitch of all time, not the worst. And if you arrived here because you were searching for “worst first pitch of all time” in response to this one, shame on you. This is the best first pitch. The absolute best. And don’t you forget it.
It hit him right in the beans, you see.
Right in the beans.