A Brief (But Hardly Serious) History of Columbus Blue Jackets Players Tossing Ceremonial First Pitches

By 1OB Staff on August 29, 2017 at 7:10 am
Boone Jenner Cleveland Indians
Columbus Blue Jackets

You're up, kid.

Later tonight, Zach Werenski will take the mound at Great American Ballpark and (hopefully) throw a first-pitch strike before the Cincinnati Reds take on the New York Mets.

Werenski is the latest Blue Jackets player to be invited by either the Reds or Cleveland Indians to throw a ceremonial first pitch; many before him have taken part in the pre-game festivities, which often include time in the batting cages, a behind-the-scenes tour of the ballpark and clubhouse, and meet-and-greets with the players and coaches.

Last year, it was Boone Jenner (accompanied by Seth Jones) throwing to Yan Gomes at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The summer prior, it was newly-acquired Brandon Saad (we hardly knew ye) throwing to Jason Kipnis, a big Chicago Blackhawks fan who was thrilled to meet Saad and taking some swings in the cage with him. Kipnis, a second baseman, doesn't have the pitch-framing skills of Gomes, but even a touch of cosmetic work wouldn't have earned a strike call on this one. Low and away.

While Saad was busy in Cleveland, Ryan Johansen made the trip to Cincinnati to spend some time with the Reds in 2015. His first pitch was....just a touch upstairs.

Other Blue Jackets to be featured in either Cleveland or Cincinnati in recent years include Jack Johnson and James Wisniewski (Cincinnati) and Brandon Dubinsky (Cleveland). Former Blue Jackets forward Jack Skille tagged along with Johnson and served as unofficial photographer for the day.

Werenski has already shown that there's not much he can't do, but painting the outside corner with a fastball is (pardon the pun) a completely different ballgame.

And being a lifelong Tigers fan, we can't help but think it's no coincidence Werenski is throwing his first pitch in Cincinnati, not Cleveland.

We're joking. Kind of.

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