Just as much as we’ve grown to love our not-so top tens for opening pitches, us as fans have also come to really enjoy being surprised by unforeseen feats of athleticism at the mound. However, it’s also important to note that more often than not, good opening pitches get swept under the rug, often considered a formality. The fact is that very often those invited to grace the mound at the start of games and who do a good job, don’t get the credit they deserve. For someone who isn’t a professional athlete, getting a baseball across the 60 feet that separate the mound from the plate is very impressive.
Now, we need to understand that the whole purpose of the opening pitch is to deliver a spectacle. This spectacle starts from the personality of the pitcher, to the quality of the pitch, to the antics that can possibly surround the pitch itself. This writer understands that there probably won’t ever be any consensus about how this top 10 should be done, but hopefully we can all agree that these pitches are impressive.
10 Bill Murray
9 Buckets Blakes
8 The Google Robot
7 Christian Haupt
6 Darth Vader
5 Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis
4 John Clayton
3 Jeff Bauman & Carlos Arredondo
2 Shin Soo-Ji
1 Max Ashton
It’s very hard to describe what actually happened in game 4 of the 2011 NLDS between Arizona and Milwaukee. Max Ashton, a young man afflicted with blindness, was there to throw out the first pitch. Under any circumstances, throwing out a first pitch can be stressful, but imagine having to do it in total darkness without even being able to identify your target. Well Max overcame all those things, and threw a strike. We’ll let you be in awe of this feat for yourselves.
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