There are several wings in the great pantheon of epic first pitches tossed out before baseball games.
Most of those wings are hilarious and bad. You have your celebrity wing, comprised of actors, swimsuit models and, especially, terrible-throwing musicians like 50 Cent mortifyingly mutilating America’s pastime. You have your politicians and presidents wing, which includes Barack Obama hurling a rainmaker high into the heavens in D.C. You have your wing of former athletes not looking very athletic, like with Carl Lewis’ grounder, Michael Jordan’s rocket launch and even Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan’s "just-a-bit-outside" wild one.
Also, Mississippi native Brett Favre threw one out before a Biloxi Shuckers game last month, leveraging his Dairy State connections with the Brewers' Double-A affiliate.
But the best wing, the most underrated one that is seemingly cherished in Milwaukee, is the Super Old Ladies From Wisconsin Wing. That’s right, folks; they did it again.
Last May, a 102-year-old fan named Gladys Holbrook threw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game at Miller Park. Last night, before Milwaukee played the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, etc., it was 93-year-old Jeannie Burant’s turn.
Burant took a few steps toward home plate to build up some momentum and then unleashed a high-arching underhand lob, earning the cheers of the crowd.
Genuinely, that's really cool. The Super Old Ladies From Wisconsin Wing is by far our favorite one. The Brewers should ask Carly-Rae Jepson to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day in 2076.
Milwaukee gave Burant something to cheer about, too, winning last night’s game, 5-4, over Los Angeles on the strength of Chris Carter’s two home runs. The Brewers will look to extend their season-high three-game winning streak and go for the sweep of the Angels today.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.