Photos by Chris Gordon
Caps players seem to love America’s pastime. Some of them prefer a game of catch over the traditional pregame soccer kickaround. Some of them are filthy Blue Jays fans. Brooks Laich is a fan as well, and on Monday he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before game between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. Laich also got an extensive tour of the O’s clubhouse from All Star closer Jim Johnson, a noted New York Rangers fan.
Laich, a righty, managed to throw (sort of) a strike, just like Alex Ovechkin did a year ago. His pitch to outfielder Chris Dickerson was a little outside, but he gunned it in there.
“He said ‘Just don’t bounce it,’ which is what everybody said,” Laich recalled Dickerson as saying. “I said ‘I’m gonna bring it in there’ and he goes ‘YES! Finally somebody’s gonna throw it! Bring the heat!’”
“It was awesome!” added Laich. “A lot of people asked me ‘Are you gonna be nervous?’ You’re used to preforming in front of people — maybe not in this environment but it was more exciting.”
Laich, who recently divulged that he was named after Orioles legend Brooks Robinson, got a nice cheer out of crowd, a number of them Yankees fans.
The Washington forward’s father was a big fan of the Hall of Fame third baseman– in fact, he gave his son the middle name Brooks (Laich’s first name is Evan) in honor of the Human Vacuum Cleaner. The younger Laich also idolized Robinson, before finally meeting him in April.
Laich, though, still had some regrets.
“I should have thrown it harder,” he said. “I really wanted to be on the top of the mound and bring it way back.”
Additional reporting by Ian Oland.