In 2014, Pat Connaughton was drafted in the fourth round of the MLB Draft by the Orioles. He chose to stick with basketball, becoming a second round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, and that has worked out pretty well for him as he’s now a rotation piece for the Milwaukee Bucks as they seek a run at the Finals.
In the five years since being an MLB draft pick, Connaughton has probably not done a ton of work on the diamond. Still, he seemed like a great choice to throw out the first pitch on Wednesday night before he and the Bucks head to Boston for Games 3 and 4 of their second round series.
Unfortunately, the rust level on his baseball game was a bit higher than he probably even anticipated, and he got a little too juiced up trying to deliver a strike to home plate. The result was a high and wide first pitch that nearly took out a poor woman filming near the netting behind home plate.
This kind of effort coming from a former baseball player and elite athlete is certainly funny, but also is a great reminder of how weird it is throwing off of a mound if you haven’t done it in awhile (or ever). There are some wild first pitches that can’t be blamed on anything but not being good at throwing a baseball (see: Cent, 50). This seems like Pat didn’t get on top of the ball enough as he came down the slope of the mound and, as such, the ball is almost always going to go high and right — compounded by the fact that he was probably trying to aim it.
First pitches are tricky when you go for the full throw from the mound, even for former baseball players themselves. It’s why good first pitches should be celebrated as much as the horrible ones are laughed at.