Hanks brought a prop from the 2000 movie Cast Away, in which he played the leading role as a FedEx executive who ends up on a deserted island. "Wilson" a volleyball he found in one of the packages, became his only companion in the movie.
The ball is quite recognizable as it has an iconic hand print with a face. Since the game was being played in Cleveland, there was also a letter 'C" on the opposite side of the face. The fans in the stadium started cheering in acknowledgment when Hanks lifted up Wilson for everyone to see. He put the ball down next to him as he got ready to throw the pitch, but his co-star had other plans.
Wilson started moving away from the mound. Hanks brought it back and attempted to talk some sense into it, but Wilson proceeded to move away again, then did a loop before returning back to Hanks side.
"Wilson's got a mind of his own," said one of the commentators. "Maybe it's remote control."
Whether it was remote control, wind or Wilson's own power, the crowd was certainly entertained.
Hanks threw the pitch, a little too far to the left, as Wilson crossed in front of him. The baseball was caught by Larry Doby Jr., whose father broke the American League color barrier 75 years ago with Cleveland. Hanks was wearing the No. 14 jersey, the same number Doby Sr. wore at the time.
The actor was born in California, but started his career by studying theater in Cleveland. Hanks was intern for the Great Lakes Festival in the 1970's, and that's when his love for Cleveland baseball began.