Five years ago, on May 9, 2009, Gary Dell’Abate lived his “worst nightmare,” as Howard Stern put it, tossing “the most embarrassing ceremonial first pitch in baseball history” at a New York Mets game.
(In case you forgot – we know you didn’t – the pitch, which prompted a shocked Keith Hernandez to say “Oh, Jesus Ch…”:)
Gary was poked fun at (to say the least) both on-air and in the media. And in the years since, the incidient has been the measuring stick for bad first pitches across the majors.
Well, on Tuesday, just over five years to the day from when Gary threw his pitch, rapper and Howard Stern Show guest 50 Cent took the mound at Citi Field. And what transpired prompted this lead from The New York Daily News:
“Baba Booey is off the hook.”
Gary initially reacted to 50 Cent’s pitch on Twitter, having some fun with the rapper, then re-tweeting a congratulatory remark from a fellow Twitter user.
Thursday, Howard 100 News reporter Brett Larson caught up with Gary over the phone to get his analysis.
It was an awful pitch, it was probably as bad or worse than mine, but I’m not gonna trash the guy. I’ve been there. The big thing is I can’t believe how much media it’s generating. People really seem to care.
Shuli Egar spoke with Stern staffers, who took the opportunity to rag on Gary (again).
“Gary’s is way way worse, because I don’t wanna upset 50 Cent,” Richard Christy said. “Gary’s was horrible, 50 Cent’s pitch was great. Way to go, 50, you’re awesome.”
Sal Governale’s take on whose pitch was worse?
Gary’s, without a doubt. Because Gary always brags about sports, Gary brags about how he’s involved in activities, Gary brags about football and baseball, and Gary also insults people like me and Jason Kaplan who can’t throw.
Will Murray also went hard on Gary.
“50 Cent came up in the f—‘in hood,” Will said. “Nobody plays baseball in the hood. He didn’t have a father, nobody showed him how to throw a g–d— ball as a kid. Gary was a baseball coach for years. He’s a huge Mets fan. He practiced for months leading up to the event. For all of those reasons, Gary is still the worst pitch, because he had so much invested in it, and he ruined the whole thing.”
To 50’s credit, we can probably chalk his gaffe up to nerves; TMZ acquired video of him practicing before the game, and 50 was able to throw what looked like a strike: