Before the Chicago White Sox squared off against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night, a White Sox employee of the month had the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. But it quickly turned into viral infamy when her toss went awry.
Like, really awry.
Standing on the pitcher’s mound, the woman reared back and hurled her pitch directly at the photographer standing a few feet to her left, with the ball appearing to hit the camera.
The woman put her hands to her face and hunched over before running over to pick up the ball. She then put her arm around White Sox pitcher Evan Marshall — he was supposed to be her catcher — and flexed a muscle.
The White Sox didn’t divulge the woman’s name, but the photographer she hit is Darren Georgia, who later appeared on the team’s telecast of the game.
“Got the photo, still got the shot. Camera’s good, I’m good,” Georgia said.
He also laughed off the incident on social media.
“Happy to report that both myself and the camera are okay,” he wrote. He even managed to hang in there and, being a true professional, got a shot of the woman in action, which the White Sox shared.
The woman’s throw was pretty bad, but is it the worst ceremonial first pitch ever? That’s a matter of debate. But it immediately joined the pantheon of other dubious tosses.
Who can forget rapper 50 Cent’s effort prior to the Pittsburgh Pirates-New York Mets’ game back in 2014?
Gary Dell’Abate, who produces Howard Stern’s radio show, also had a memorable pitch when the ball went just a wee bit high before another Mets-Pirates game in 2009.
Mark Mallory was the mayor of Cincinnati in 2007 when he threw out the first pitch before the Reds home opener. It was so atrocious one of the umpires pretended to eject him from the game.
Mariah Carey had her moment in the sun, too. Back in 2011, she had trouble getting any sort of elevation on her pitch, which promptly hit the ground and bounced to home plate. But at least she was dressed well, right?
Carey isn’t the only singer to struggle on the mound. Carly Rae Jepsen fired an equally memorable pitch before the Tampa Bay Rays hosted the Houston Astros in 2013.
So, while this White Sox employee may have been off the mark, at least she can take some heart in knowing she’s in good company. Well, company, anyway.