GLENDALE, AZ–Having spent most of my career in communications, I’m much more comfortable behind the scenes than being the center of attention. But Monday night, thanks to my friends at the White Sox and Camelback Ranch, I was asked to leave my comfort zone and throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Sox-Royals game.
Whether I was chosen because I’m a lifelong White Sox fan or the fact I’ve traveled to Sox spring training on and off for 40 years or it was dumb luck, it was a terrific moment. Luckily for me I wasn’t informed days ahead of time. I was told minutes before so I didn’t have much time to worry about my form. Fortunate, too, that I was wearing my Art of the Pale Hose cap and my Sox jacket.
As it turned out, it was one of those surreal moments in life. I got my instructions (pictured above), was introduced, walked to the mound (actually right in front of it), did a little windup and threw the ball to Sox catching prospect Donny Lucy. I made sure I didn’t heave it over his head, but instead reached Lucy’s glove on one bounce. Oh, well. Then we ran toward each other like I’ve seen thousands of times over the years, Donny signed the ball and it was on to the national anthem and game time.
I’m still searching for more clear photos of the event, but the truth is that it doesn’t matter. It’s in my memory bank with so many other Sox moments I’ve experienced. And I have to admit it was sort of nice to be out front for a change.