On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Thursday, the host had the honor of throwing out a ceremonial first pitch at a New York Yankees game, and he was definitely looking to avoid going viral for all the wrong reasons.
The bad celebrity-thrown first pitch has become a common occurrence in popular culture, and yet people just can’t get enough of them. Fallon showed a video of his band leader, Questlove, tossing out a first pitch at a Philadelphia Phillies game back in 2019 that went into the dirt before reaching the catcher. And more recently, fighter Conor McGreggor got the viral treatment when his pitch at a Chicago Cubs game was way off the mark.
Conor McGregor throwing the first pitch at the Cubs game 😅 @BRWalkoff
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 21, 2021
So, in an attempt to deliver a perfect strike down the middle and not be remembered for something awful, Fallon enlisted the help of one of the greatest Major League Baseball pitchers of all time, hall-of-famer Mariano Rivera.
Fallon broke down what he was looking to do, and admitted to being nervous because, “if it’s bad, it lives forever.” And that’s when Rivera had the perfect response.
“Jimmy, you should be nervous,” Rivera said. “But that’s why I’m here.”
When it came time for Fallon’s moment of truth, he didn’t look too comfortable on the field despite his training session. And let’s not forget his starring role in 2005’s Fever Pitch, that’s gotta be worth something, right?
With Rivera looking on, Fallon delivered a rather high and outside pitch where the catcher had to stand and jump to make the catch. While it most definitely wasn’t a strike, the fact that it was caught is a pretty sure sign that Fallon won’t be going viral. Not for this particular event, at least.
Surprisingly, Fallon did end up delivering a rather impressive throw after the fact, when he and Rivera signed a baseball and he then tossed it to a fan a few levels up in the stands. If any scouts are paying attention, he may not be an accuracy guy, but he’s definitely got some power.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on NBC.
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