If it seems to you like there have been a number of noteworthy first pitches recently, you’re totally right. In the last few weeks alone we’ve seen a 101-year-old grandma, a major hip hop star, and a cat throw out the first pitch at professional baseball games. We’re basically living in the golden age of the ceremonial first pitch. And it is glorious.
Today, we’re going to celebrate this golden age with a list of the most amazing first pitch GIFs known to man (which is to say, that I could find using Google). Does it include GIFs of the first pitches I just referenced? You’re damn right it does. And it also includes 30 others that are notable for one reason or another. So lean forward, crinkle your brow like you’re analyzing an important spreadsheet or something so your boss doesn’t get suspicious, and take a look.
Keeping up with the Kardashians is one thing. Catching one of their first pitches is another.
33. Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Yes, that is the creepy girl from The Ring...sort of.
The Ring is actually based on a 1998 Japanese film called Ringu, and since this ceremonial first pitch is from Japan, that's actually the creepy girl from Ringu.
Check out Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman. Dude totally rips a strike from his wheelchair, like a boss.
31. Boston Strong
Maybe it bounced four times, but at least she kept it around the plate.
30. Mariah Carey's Four-Bouncer
And after all that, a strike right down the middle. Those Cirque du Soleil folks are good.
29. Cirque du Soleil
Looks like Fiddy had a little too much Bacardi in da club that night.
28. 50 Cent Is Bad at Baseball
I bet if all pitchers carried swords while they pitched, nobody would ever charge the mound.
27. Snake Eyes
In 2009, Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'Abate threw out one of the worst ceremonial pitches of all time...unless he was trying to hit the umpire.
26. Baba Booey
This guy's name is John Bledsoe. He's some rich insurance company guy who did something that Stetson University liked, so they had him throw out the first pitch at one of their baseball games.
It. Was. Awful.
25. Rich Guy Fail
When you have the coach of the local NHL team come throw out the first pitch, you might as well have him use a hockey stick.
(PS, Guy Boucher no longer coaches the Tampa Bay Lightning.)
24. Guy Boucher, Hockey Coach
23. Cervilio Miguel Amador's Baseball Ballet
Hey, Jermichael Finley is a tight end. His job is to catch balls, not throw them.
22. Jermichael Finley
John Wall is also a member of the "professional athletes embarrassing themselves with horrendous first pitches" club.
21. John Wall
But John Wall has pride. So he went home, practiced, and came back to redeem himself.
20. John Wall: Redemption
Now Russell Wilson—there's a guy who didn't embarrass himself.
Of course, he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies, so you kind of expect him to get it over the plate.
19. Russell Wilson
Colin Kaepernick was also drafted by a Major League Baseball team. (Well, the Cubs.) And last year, he threw out what might be the fastest first pitch in baseball history.
Seriously, the thing clocked in at 87 miles per hour.
18. Colin Kaepernick
Johnny Manziel isn't knows for his incredible arm strength. He's known for his scrambling. So when he threw out the first pitch at a Padres game, that's what he showcased.
17. Johnny Baseball
Remember San Francisco's Batkid? Well, he threw out the first pitch at AT&T Park on April 7, 2014.
Yeah, that's pretty good I guess...
...but that is better.
Well, it is called a pitching wedge, is it not?
13. Holly Sonders
Ten years later, Johnny Damon got revenge for Manny Ramirez's "interception."
12. The Interception
Everyone in the stadium laughed, so Vader force-choked them all to death.
11. Darth Vader Sucks
Look at how Mr. Red gets down to block that ball! Dude obviously realized that if Vader got charged with another passed ball he'd be a gonner.
10. Vader Sucks a Little Less
That's former Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. He really sucks at throwing a baseball.
9. Ceremonial First Pickoff Attempt?
Carly Rae Jepsen also really sucks at throwing a baseball...and at writing a second song that people like.
J/K, I'm sure there are hundreds of people who liked "Good Time," her follow-up to "Call Me Maybe."
8. Carly Rae Jepsen
Carl Lewis won nine Olympic gold medals at four different Games, but not one of them were in baseball.
7. Carl Lewis
This lady is 101 years old and doesn't have a single Olympic gold medal, but she sure as hell thew a strike at the Rogers Centre on Mother's Day.
(I really hope Carl Lewis is reading this right now.)
6. Oldest First Pitcher Ever
This Hershey chocolate bar also throws better than 9x Olympic champion Carl Lewis.
(Man, I'm really rubbing it on now.)
5. Chocolate Strike
It's a damn good thing this dude got the ball over the plate, or else 25,000 fans at Comerica Park would have seen him commit seppuku right there on the pitchers mound.
4. Samurai Pitch
This is Tillman. You might remember him as the skateboarding bulldog featured in that iPhone commercial from 2007. Last year he threw out the first pitch at a Dodgers game...minus skateboard, unfortunately.
3. Dodger Dog
What you're watching is the exactly moment Hero Cat's 15 minutes of fame expired.
2. Hero Cat
You probably think this is some CGI sorcery, but it's not. It's basically the biggest, most badass puppet you've ever seen. Look closely and you'll see the legs of the legs of the person controlling the dinosaur from inside its ass.
Well done, Padres. Well done.
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