Last week, Girls’ Generation’s Jessica made headlines for her ceremonial pitch blooper during a Korean professional baseball game. The clip was so funny (and cute!) that it received coverage on the front page of Gawker Media’s sports blog, Deadspin, while getting a special mention during ESPN’s popular talk show, “Pardon the Interruption.” (Make sure you watch Jessica’s pitch here!)
Once a spot reserved for established businessmen or politicians, the ceremonial first pitch has now become more of a marketing opportunity for both the teams and the celebrities. For celebrities, throwing the first pitch puts you on the map as a major star, while for the teams, it is a chance to create another channel to attract more fans to their games.
But as you’ve seen in Jessica’s case, not all female stars have the skills to throw a baseball. Although ESPN’s Michael Wilbon was quick to say, “It’s all about the release point,” some celebrities just seem to possess better form and “stuff.” Here we take a look at the best and worst ceremonial pitches by Korean female stars.
Which pitch did you like/hate the most?
1) Hong Soo Ah by far has the best “stuff” as a pitcher. She’s a flame thrower with the best fastball in K-Pop. There’s a reason she earned the nickname, “Hong-Dro” (a combination of Hong Soo Ah and legendary Major League pitcher Pedro Martinez).
2) Yuri and Jessica come from the same group, but as you can see, they have very contrasting baseball skills. While Jessica’s still struggling to find the right release point, Yuri’s already at the point of playing with her arm angle. She’s perhaps the best submarine pitcher in K-Pop.
3) Kim Tae Hee not only pitched for my favorite team (LG Twins), but also showed one of the nastiest sinkers of all time. To me, it almost seemed like a knuckleball with wicked movement.
4) Although Kang So Ra‘s pitching repertoire needs to be shortened, her overall motion seems fine. She reads the signs and knows exactly what pitch she wants to throw. Her long arms and legs will only help her develop a better fastball.
1) It’s all about the release point. Knowing when to release the ball is critical for any pitcher. Jessica needs to go back to the basics!
2) Suzy’s pitch went way off the plate. She has a big wind up and it’s never good to have an overly big delivery motion. She needs to tighten her stance and find better control.
3) Nam Gyu Ri’s pitch itself wasn’t that bad, but her uniform was a complete disaster. Baseball’s a pitcher’s game, and the mound is sacred ground to the pitcher. You have to show respect by dressing in the right way, but her extremely short shorts (and exposed buttocks) were big no-no’s.
4) Park Shin Hye earned the nickname “Randy-Shin” (a combination of Major League Baseball legend Randy Johnson and Park Shin Hye) for her southpaw style and good delivery. But in this pitch, she failed to show any movement or control. She needs to do a better job to live up to her nickname.