Shaq threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Marlins game, and apparently lifted Judge Judy
As we witnessed this week, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch is a lot harder than it looks -- just ask Akbar Gbaja-Biamila. He admitted he thought it would be easy, but it didn't go as planned. So naturally, when it was NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal's turn to take the mound, we had a bit of apprehension. Don't worry, though, this story has a happy ending.
Prior to Friday's Braves-Marlins game, Shaq threw out the first pitch to Brad Ziegler, and he threw a strike:
As you can see, his form is rather impressive, and Ziegler knew how to handle someone of such big, celebrity status.
"It's in my contract here that I get to catch all the big-time celebrities when they throw out the first pitch," Ziegler told MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. "They came in about 3 o'clock and said, 'Hey we got one for you tonight.'"
The best part? Shaq knew exactly who Ziegler was.
"I went in and introduced myself and he said 'I know who you are, Zieg.' I was like, 'Woah.' I've got an international superstar. Whether it was true or not, it made me feel good," Ziegler added.
The pitch was "a natural cutter" that Ziegler did his best to frame.
"Compared to some of the others I've caught, that was definitely one of the better ones."
Shaq also lifted Judge Judy (cousin of Marlins owner Bruce Sherman) because it made for the perfect photo opportunity.
This is what we call a successful night at the ballpark.