This past Tuesday, rapper 50 Cent threw out the first pitch at a game between the Mets and the Pirates.
“Threw out” is definitely the right phrase, and several media outlets, including TMZ and the New York Daily News* are calling it the worst first pitch in history.
* The Daily News is, of course, a highly-respected news source, and their front page is a bastion of dignity and responsible reporting. As I write this, their lead stories are a history of the journalist who attacked Brad Pitt, the paternity suit filed against Paul George (complete with badly photoshopped image of the bikini-clad mother), and a psychological piece on the parents of the man the Post so charmingly calls the “Santa Barbara psycho”. I trust you’ll give their opinion of 50 Cent’s pitch the respect it deserves.
Take a look. It’ll only take seven seconds:
Now, is it really that bad?
We talked about horrible ceremonial first pitches last August. To give the Post due credit, their article does mention several of the same ones we looked at, Carly Rae Jepsen and Baba Booey in particular. I took a look back at those videos in preparing today’s piece–never let it be said that I’ll shirk on necessary research, no matter how painful it may be–and I don’t see any way Mr. Cent’s throw could be considered the worst ever.
It’s bad, yes, but by comparison, not so much.
Consider that Jepsen’s toss bounced a few feet away from the mound and then hit a camera lying on the ground. By contrast, 50 Cent’s toss was a model of beauty. It had the necessary distance, and it didn’t hit anything breakable. Sure, it was well away from the plate, but no more so than many others–and unlike the equally wild Baba Booey throw, it didn’t hit an umpire*.
* In religious terms, hitting an umpire with the ceremonial first pitch is the equivalent of bashing the Pope in the shins with a censer.
Bottom line, to answer the question posed in the title of today’s post, nope, not even close.
There is a little bit of the “throws like a girl” syndrome in 50 Cent’s pitch, which undoubtedly contributed to his inaccuracy. That can be overcome with training and practice. It’s clear that he has the strength to reach the plate. I’d like to see him work on his throwing and then return to Citi Field for another try. Do a credible job, and he might just inspire a few inner city kids to take up baseball. OK, probably not, but we can dream, right?