On my way home from my seminar today, I saw that my cab’s in-ride video featured, along with three Jeopardy! questions from Alex Trebek, a Jimmy Kimmel feature (his “Pedestrian Belly-Flop” competition) and the weather, and a video from the ceremonies I had just returned from witnessing in person at Boston’s Fenway Park. The headline was-HAHAHAHA!—“First Pitch Goes Horribly Wrong!” and showed Mike Andrews, the ex-Red Sox second baseman from the 1967 “Impossible Dream Team,” receiving a pitch from the ceremonial first pitch tosser, who then heaved the ball far beyond Mike’s reach into a group of photographers, hitting one of them—it’s important to note that he is male–right in the crotch. The clip was attached to an ad for the local ABC affiliate here.
I thought that the mocking video was an ABC product, and it might be, since other ABC affiliates have distributed it. But the same video with similar mockery of the pitch in the commentary is elsewhere, and on its way to going viral. Here is the attached story used by ABC Channel 15 in Arizona:
A photographer and University of Arizona alum was the unfortunate victim of one of the worst first pitches in MLB history on Wednesday night.
Before the Boston Red Sox hosted the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park, the gentleman who tossed out the first pitch threw it juuuuuust a bit outside — and right into a sensitive spot for Tony Capobianco, a photographer and page designer for The Eagle-Tribune who graduated from UA in 2013.
Fortunately, Tony reported he’s OK. Way to Bear Down, sir.
That “sir” is a triumphant cancer survival and success story by The Jimmy Fund, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s ‘s research drive to cure cancer in children that the Red Sox made the organization’s affiliated charity since Ted Williams became passionate involved with the project in the late 1940s. His pitch was the climax of the ceremonies honoring the 50th anniversary of the storied pennant winning team, in part because that team became the first to ever award a full World Series share to cancer research, and in part because Andrews had followed his playing days with 25 years as the Jimmy Fund’s executive director.
The young man who threw out the first pitch yesterday was a young boy with cancer in 2007, when he also threw the first pitch to Andrews to cap the 1967 team’s 40th Fenway reunion. What was remarkable about that pitch was not that it was errant, or that it was a “nut pitch,” as another mocking online news source classily put it, but rather that he could make the pitch at all.
What do you think: did the news sites that ran this story know that the guy was a cancer survivor and shouldn’t be nationally ridiculed because he has had more pressing matters to attend to than perfecting his pitching skills, or were they just too lazy and incompetent to check the background on the episode?
I’m betting on the latter.