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Natalie Gulbis first pitchWe’ve written about a lot of ladies throwing out the first pitch this baseball season.  LA Sol Soccer player Marta,  golfer Michelle Wie,  and Sparks players Delisha Milton Jones and Tina Thompson graced the blue carpet by throwing out the first pitch at a Dodger Game.  Serena Williams showed up to toss the pitch out at a recent Yankees game while  Jackie Joyner Kersee and Cammi Granato had the honors at a pair of Chicago games. And tonight, golfer Natalie Gulbis threw out the first pitch at an Oakland Athletics game.

So that got us thinking? What’s the story behind the ceremonial first ball? According to Wikipedia, the first pitch is a longstanding ritual of American baseball in which a guest of honor (dignitary, celebrity, former player, etc.) throws a ball to mark the end of pregame festivities and the start of the game. Originally, the guest threw a ball from his/her place in the grandstand to the pitcher or catcher of the home team. At some point, this morphed into the guest standing in front of the pitcher’s mound and throwing towards (but rarely reaching) home plate, though sometimes he or she may stand on the mound (as a pitcher would). The recipient  is usually a player from the home team.

Tonight’s pitch looks like a fast curve ball.  You throw, girl.

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September 21, 2009

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