Ceremonial first pitches historically have been everything from embarrassing, to wild, to emotional to boring. Tennis star Monica Puig put her own twist on the first pitch tradition and used a tennis racquet to send the ball over home plate.
For Thursday night’s Cincinnati Reds game at Great American Ball Park, it was Puig who was designated the first-pitch duties and she definitely made it her own.
The racquet may have a baseball sized dent in it after that one.
Catching for the tennis standout, who is currently ranked 43rd by the WTA, was her boyfriend and Reds second baseman Derek Dietrich. Puig hit the baseball perfectly into the glove of Dietrich, who was switching it up by playing the role of catcher instead of his usual spot at second base.
Both Puig and Dietrich were wearing No. 22 Reds jerseys with ‘Dietrich’ on the back. Dietrich hyped up the crowd after the pitch, impressed with Puig’s skills.
The Reds faced the Chicago Cubs after the ceremonial pitch in the first game of the series between the two teams. The Cubs went on to beat the home team 12-5. The Reds got revenge on Friday when they beat the Cubs 5-2. The teams, now at one apiece, will face each other Saturday and Sunday night to finish out the series.