When it comes to ceremonial first pitches in Major League Baseball, the awful ones tend to go far more viral than the good ones.
Of course, this isn’t to say no one will remember you if you throw out a perfect strike.
Who could forget then-President George W. Bush’s first pitch at the old Yankee Stadium prior to Game 3 of the 2001 World Series (just weeks after terrorists killed thousands in the Sept. 11 terror attacks)?
For the most part, though, it’s the bad ones that grab headlines.
There was the first pitch prior to a Chicago White Sox home game last year that hit the cameraman in the face.
— FOX Sports Kansas City (@FSKansasCity) May 28, 2019
There was the dinosaur mascot who attempted to throw out the first pitch prior to a Texas Rangers game last August — and failed just about as badly as you might imagine.
Just a bit outside. pic.twitter.com/SxORCCH4fA
— MLB (@MLB) March 31, 2019
Unfortunately for Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, people will likely be remembering his first pitch opening the 2020 MLB season — and not in a good way.
Fauci’s flub came prior to the Opening Day game Thursday between the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees at Nationals Park.
As seen below, the pitch was just a bit outside.
Well, maybe more than a bit — the baseball didn’t even make it to the dirt surrounding the batter’s box:
Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out the first pitch before the Nationals-Yankees game. pic.twitter.com/04Tbkh7Voa
— ESPN (@espn) July 23, 2020
Here it is again, in case you want to watch the three-second clip on repeat:
Anthony Fauci, First Pitch Mechanics. pic.twitter.com/QxszDQJDuu
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 23, 2020
As one might imagine, there was no short supply of jokes on Twitter:
Fauci’s first pitch came closer to the plate than any of his COVID-19 predictions. https://t.co/v6tNY1WWgg
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) July 23, 2020
Dr. Fauci gets the call on the corner from Angel Hernandez ? pic.twitter.com/CHac8MBM3b
— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) July 23, 2020
Fauci’s first pitch was about as accurate and disciplined as his preparations and predictions for the China Virus
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 23, 2020
Fauci may have butchered the first pitch, but no doubt he would agree with fellow baseball fans on one thing: It’s good to have baseball back.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.