Mary Ruich, a Chicago White Sox employee, was selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a recent game, and probably wished she would have called in sick. It was either a combination of nerves or inability to get the ball over the plate, but Ruich had an epic fail at the stadium.

Mary Ruich
Chicago White Sox employee Mary Ruich threw out the ceremonial first pitch and hit a photographer, who was not hurt. (Image: NBC Sports)

The pitch stayed in her hand a bit too long and went directly to the left, hitting a cameraman who was photographing the occasion. He was unhurt. Ruich was understandably mortified, but kept her sense of humor.

“It hasn’t really hit me yet, get it?” Ruich joked. She said she was thinking, “Oh my god … maybe nobody saw. I think I’ll just run away.”

It got us to thinking about other ceremonial first pitches that went terribly wrong. There have been several captured on the internet, and only history will tell which one is the worst.

We present 10 strong contenders below.

Mariah Carey

The singer thought going to Japan would be safer than throwing a ball in the United States, but she of all people should know you can’t escape the internet. In her defense, it is nearly impossible to throw a ball in stripper heels.


Curtis Jackson “50 Cent”

The rapper is a lefty, but his pitch went so far in that direction he almost beaned a photographer. No truth to the rumors that he was mistaken for one of the Mets’ starters.


Barack Obama

Major points to the 44th president for trolling the crowd at Washington by donning a White Sox hat. But if you are going to talk smack you have to back it up with your toss, and President Obama did not.


Gary Dell’Abate

The longtime producer of the Howard Stern Show was so excited when he got to throw out the first pitch. Then this happened and Stern and the rest of the cast roasted Dell’Abate for a week.


Carl Lewis

The Olympic Sprinter threw a pitch that was so bad he demanded a do over, but there are no retakes on the first pitch. Only the first one counts, and Carl, your throw was awful.


Doug Glanville

Former MLB player at the field he played on for several years, this should be routine. Uh, not so much. Glanville proved that even non-pitchers can struggle on the mound.

Dirk Nowitzki

Name one German in the major leagues. Do they even play the sport over there? Nowitzki proved his country is much better suited at soccer.


Carly Rae Jepsen

The “Call Me Maybe” singer probably got a few phone calls after this performance. Not only does she throw the ball into the ground, but wide left as well. Notice the grip, palm balls haven’t been used in baseball since the dead-ball era.


Jordan Leandre

The high school pitcher and cancer survivor is in the running for the best/worst first pitch of all time. Not only does he go high and outside, but he manages to hit a cameraman right in the groin. The reaction after the throw is priceless.


Darth Vader

To promote one of the 53 Star Wars movies, the most notorious villain in the galaxy decided to throw out the first pitch. But as the video shows, it’s tough to hit the plate when you are wearing a restrictive costume. He probably should have used the Force.


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