The first pitch

We’re all pretty excited here at MPR. We’ve organized an outing (we almost never have newsroom and staff outings) to the Minnesota Twins game tonight because legend Gary Eichten is throwing out the first pitch.

Truth is, of course, not many people pay attention to the person who throws out a first pitch at baseball games, but there’s plenty of pressure nonetheless.

A few years ago, before a Saint Paul Saints game in which I threw out the first pitch (maybe MPR paid for the honor, I don’t know), so was Al Franken and then congressional candidate Erik Paulsen, and about four others. Franken brought a campaign staffer and insisted on warming up in the bullpen. The rest of us stood around, practiced nothing, and then threw BB’s to the plate. Franken might’ve bounced his pitch.

Then he got elected senator. See? Nobody remembers the first pitch.

Unless, of course, you really blow it. No pressure, Eichten.

  • John P.

    Considering the Twins starting rotation these days, it could be an audition for Eichten’s second career.

  • Jim Shapiro


    There is interesting research on the phenomenon that often occurs when celebrities or dinosaurs are asked to throw a baseball in front of a crowd from a mound.

    The temporary loss of arm control is know as “Throw Like A Girl Syndrome”.

    ( Can I say that? Some of my best friends are girls.)


  • essjayok

    I disagree about the TRex being a bad first pitch. It was the best of all they showed and s/he threw it with his/her mouth. That’s skill!

  • essjayok

    @Jim Shapiro


    You usually have such good comments on here, but I do find your comment in poor taste.

    Let’s not perpetuate sexism, especially on a Friday afternoon. Even if it’s Friday the 13th.


    -A girl who throws like…..someone throwing a baseball

  • Jason Mock

    I believe the phrase you’re looking for is TLACS, or “Throw Like a Celebrity Syndrome”

  • Jim Shapiro

    essjayok – Thanks for your civil response. While I enjoy the role of provocateur, in reality I agree with you completely. (Except about the poor taste stuff, of course.)

    You said what needed to be said regarding women’s abilities and hackneyed stereotypes better than I could have. And you might very well throw a baseball better than I do as well. (But how are you on a tennis or squash court?)


  • Erica

    Totally hilarious!! Thanks Bob for the laugh on a Friday afternoon.