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Social media wrap: Charlie Crist's worst pitch ever (we're talking about baseball)

October 8, 2010 | 10:50 am


Charlie Crist is better on the stump than the pitcher's mound.

A video of the Florida governor's terrible opening pitch in front of a sellout crowd at Thursday night's Rays-Rangers playoff game went viral Friday morning. 

It was picked up by Politico and Drudge and a host of local bloggers, with Broward blogger Eric Barton noting that Crist is currently 12 points down to Marco Rubio in their U.S. Senate contest, in a piece headlined: "Charlie Crist Sends Pitch Sailing in Giant Metaphor of his Campaign."

Watch for yourself. It's pretty bad. And this guy used to be a quarterback? Different sport, true, but really.

But Crist's lame effort is not the worst among politicians, whose pitching foibles have been going national since William Howard Taft tossed out the opening ball at a Washington Senators game back in 1910, the first president to do so. 

Southpaw President Obama -- only the second lefty to throw a presidential pitch, Harry Truman being the first -- in April donned his beloved White Sox hat before pitching high and right to open a Phillies-Nationals game that also marked the 100th anniversary of Taft’s pitch (Taft threw his pitch from ...

... the stands, which was standard practice for many decades before throwing from the mound became the norm). 


Former Texas Rangers co-owner George W. Bush acquitted himself well in multiple displays of pitching prowess, frequently landing the ball over the plate, while Bill Clinton was the first president to pitch successfully from the mound to a catcher. George H.W. Bush opened the baseball season in Canada (go figure), while Ronald Reagan, the Great Communicator, threw out not one but two pitches at a Cubs opener and proceeded to commentate for a couple of innings. Since Taft, the only president to take a pass on the tradition was Jimmy Carter

But the hands-down worst political opening pitch of all time is undoubtedly that of Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, whose limp 2007 effort made him a national laughingstock and drew an announcer's withering response: "That's one of the worst opening pitches I've ever seen."  

Crist is in good company. 

-- Craig Howie

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