Great form. (Photo credit: Caps Instagram)
Friday night, Washington Capitals legend and 500-goal scorer Peter Bondra threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Potomac Nationals game in some weird place called Woodbridge, Virginia (probably doesn’t even have a wooden bridge). Bonzai signed autographs and posed for photos with Caps fans before and during the game.
“I am a little bit nervous,” Bondra revealed to Monumental Network before he participated in the first pitch ceremony. “I wish I had a little board and a hockey stick and puck. That make it easy. But I try to hit target.”
Bonzai was likely anxious because he never played baseball as a kid. He also threw out the first pitch at a Frederick Keys game in the past and his toss was a little bit wild.
Nonetheless, the Caps legend (who you can see play at the upcoming Caps Alumni Game, Thursday, September 19th) found his courage and took the field. After meeting the other first pitch honorees, he chose to go last. “I will see what you do and I will do same,” Bondra told them.
Once the Caps legend was told to take the mound, he faked a side-armed heave and then quickly threw the ball to the catcher.
“I think I hit the target,” Bondra said of his low and outside pitch. “The catcher didn’t have to lean too far. I didn’t want to throw wild pitch. That would be embarrassing.” Indeed.
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.”
At 6:45 PM, Adam Oates made his first public appearance as the new Capitals head coach, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Nationals/Rockies game.
Oates, wearing khakis and a white #77 Nats jersey, lobbed in a high-arching ball to Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler, who was crouched down and catching at home plate.
Video is below the jump.
Photo via washingtoncapitals.tumblr.com
Wearing a red Nationals’ #32 Tom Gorzelanny jersey (perhaps in honor of Dale Hunter?), Jason Chimera, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday’s Orioles/Nats game. Chimmer, who got a loud ovation when he took the field, threw high and hard — we’re going to call it a ball — to Gorzelanny, a pitcher who played catcher for the moment. And yeah, Chimera brought along his son Cale.
Video is below the jump.
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