Auston Matthews briefly stole the spotlight from Aaron Judge when he threw the first ceremonial pitch ahead of Tuesday’s matchup between the Toronto Blue Jays and visiting New York Yankees.
The Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 60-goal scorer made a decent toss — slightly high and outside — to Jays pitcher Alek Manoah. Matthews himself comes from a baseball background — his father Brian was a pitcher at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, while Matthews tried his hand at catcher before hockey took over.
Matthews said after Toronto’s practice earlier in the day that his goal would be not to “embarrass” himself.
“I’d like to think that growing up and playing that I have a decent throw,” he said. “I should be able to get it there. I played one year of travel baseball, but I didn’t play much because hockey got in the way.
“I wasn’t much of a pitcher; I had a wild arm. I usually caught. I pitched a little bit, but not very well.”
Matthews’ teammates Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting attended the game as well.
“The boys are telling me to bring some heat,” Matthews said. “We got to see where I’m at with my throwing arm. It’s been a while.”
Auston 3:16 says Papi’s Home 🤩
Thanks to our Buds for coming tonight! #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/fVZMOpoEOz
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 27, 2022
Matthews’ attempt went better than when his former USA National Team Development Program teammate and good friend Matthew Tkachuk made the ceremonial first pitch at a Miami Marlins game earlier this month that bounced outside of the plate.