The Chicago White Sox paid tribute to their Employee of the Month on Tuesday by allowing her to throw the ceremonial first pitch ahead of the team's win against the Kansas City Royals, and, well, let's just say it was a good thing only a few people saw it.
The honored staffer all but dishonored the mound with her throw, which hit not the strike zone but rather a White Sox photographer standing just in front of her. Everyone got a good laugh out of it, of course, but there's no denying the truth: Chicago's Employee of the Month has entrenched herself in baseball lore as one of the worst first pitchers of all time. And believe us, there are a lot of bad pitches in the history of MLB's ceremonial toss.
With that said, let's run through 10 of the worst throws to ever signal the start of an MLB game:
Chicago White Sox Employee of the Month
The Sox have not released the name of the latest and greatest person to embarrass themselves on the hill, and perhaps for good reason. You can see even before the ball leaves her hand that White Sox pitcher Evan Marshall, the catcher for the ceremonial pitch, is having second thoughts about the whole ordeal, and then Mrs. Employee of the Month straight up plunks her team's photographer -- camera and all -- nowhere near home plate.
To be crowned Miss Texas is apparently also to be crowned Bad Thrower. The 2016 pageant winner was the latest to miss the plate by a long shot, but her 2014 predecessor takes the cake with, well, whatever you want to call what she did before one of that year's Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers games. To be fair, it's pretty apparent that Miss Texas was trying to do something different here, opening with the underhand delivery, so her ultimate ability to turn a first pitch into a conglomeration of bowling and ballet is actually kind of impressive.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Still basking in the fame of her hit single "Call Me Maybe" back in 2012, the pop singer ensured that no MLB team would ever be calling her again thanks to this bouncer before a Tampa Bay Rays game. Just a straight shot into the turf, wide left and short of the plate. At least she knew right away that she'd messed up, shouting "Oh no!" almost exactly as the ball left her hand.
Even if you don't think this is the worst, it's definitely among the most infamous. Longtime "Howard Stern Show" producer Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'Abate told New York Mets broadcasters after airmailing his throw and hitting a nearby umpire that he spent 40 minutes talking to a sports psychologist about his big throw at Citi Field. It obviously didn't help.
This man is living proof that you can win nine Olympic gold medals, be voted World Athlete of the Century and still make a fool of yourself in sports. Invited to a 2003 Seattle Mariners game, he lofted a solid strike from the mound -- but only on his second try. The first attempt was the definition of a dribbler -- a supremely short skipper that needed at least four bounces to reach the plate.
The pitcher at hand here is an inspiration. He survived pediatric cancer and made his way into the movies ("Fever Pitch") for his singing of the national anthem. When he was asked to toss the ball to the former chairman of The Jimmy Fund at Fenway Park in 2017, however, the Red Sox superfan got a little carried away, firing his pitch way high and to the right -- and directly into the crotch of an oblivious photographer. The whole thing, while unfortunate, is unscripted genius, from the stadium announcer telling Jordan to "fire it in there" to the faint smack of the ball landing clean on the poor cameraman's groin.
How does a man with so much swag embarrass himself so badly? We may never know. It's not like 50 is lackadaisical with his approach or anything, either. This is a man who took the mound wanting and planning to fire a strike. And yet, what Citi Field fans were treated to instead, ahead of this 2014 New York Mets vs. Pittsburgh Pirates game? Perhaps the most wayward wide-left throw of anyone to ever do it. All you can do afterward is smile and pretend like it never happened.
The 68th Mayor of Cincinnati was a big name when he took the mound in April 2007, and he had a big role to fill, casting the first throw ahead of the Reds' home opener. You can guess by his inclusion on this list that he failed, but my goodness, it's the way that he did that makes him so special. Try watching Mallory's sidearm a few times in a row and convince us he didn't just hurl the ball away on purpose, as if muttering, Get this thing out of here!
Everyone loves to point out that the NBA's G.O.A.T. also played baseball, but if you're sick and tired of hearing about M.J. on the diamond, just point those people to this. Jordan hit Wrigley Field to throw to Sammy Sosa in 1998, complete with a Sosa jersey on his back, but to say he fired high would be quite the understatement.
This one was technically for a Japanese league game in Tokyo, but we're not sure anyone topped the singer's accompanying wardrobe back in 2011. For crying out loud, this woman wore high heels to her first pitch. It's no wonder she barely moves her body during the throw, which predictably hit the grass -- and bounced aplenty -- before making its way anywhere near the plate.