The bar for first pitches by hockey players in Chicago just keeps getting raised.
Kendall Coyne, a member of the gold medal winning 2018 U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey team from the Chicago suburbs, took to the mound at Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday, stick in hand, and ripped a wrist shot off the dirt for a strike to Miguel Gonzalez behind the plate.
It’s not easy to dangle with a baseball, but Coyne makes it look easy — as with everything else she does.
This is not the first time we’ve seen a hockey player use their stick to throw out the first pitch at a White Sox game. Chicago Steel captain Marc Johnstone launched a wrister from the mound last season — and then-Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher did the same at a Rays game in 2012. Though to be fair to Coyne and Johnstone, Boucher was at least in a dome. In Chicago you have to battle the elements to get the ball across the plate. And in fairness to Coyne, she took her shot from the mound while Johnstone stood on the grass.
Usually when a hockey team or player visits either of Chicago’s ballparks they are bringing the Stanley Cup with them. Barring that, they’re finding new ways to make the first pitch their own.
At this rate it won’t be much longer before we see a one-timer first pitch. With the extended netting in ballparks and no shortage of catcher’s gear, we can’t be too far away from some team trying it out.
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