|Photo by USA Today|
Given a chance to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park as a rookie in 2011, Wizards point guard John Wall made one of the worst attempts in ceremonial first pitch history. That may not be official, but most would probably agree. He spiked the ball just a few feet in front of the mound and embarrassment ensued.
Here is how he described the unfortunate showing when reflecting on it this week:
“I tried to throw a bullet like I was really Strasburg or somebody & it didn't work,” he said.
On Thursday Wall will have a chance for redemption before the Nats game against the Chicago White Sox and he says this time he will just try and lob it in to home plate.
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was asked to offer some advice to Wall before his second try.
“I don’t know if I can help him with what he did last time. That’s a pretty tough fix,” Zimmerman said.
“A lot of the time they try and throw it too hard so that’s why they spike it. If it’s the lob, you kind of have to swallow your pride a little bit. That’s kind of like the grandma shot in basketball. I would hope he does a little bit better this time.”
There is no equivalent of the first pitch in basketball, there is no ceremonial first free throw or anything like that. But if there was, Zimmerman would make sure not to embarrass himself.
“Better than he did, I would hit the rim I would think,” he said.
Though Zimmerman was harsh in his joking about Wall’s first pitch, he appreciates the fellow D.C. athlete coming out to show support for the Nationals.
“I think it’s great for guys like him, and any other of the local athletes, to come out and support the other sports. I know the guys in here love hockey and football and basketball, and all the other sports around here. So we appreciate it when they do that.”
Read about how Wall prepared for his second try right here.