U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team visited Citi Field, towered over players
Four members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team headed for Rio de Janeiro were in town for a charity wrestling event in the middle of Times Square, so naturally they took the opportunity to come out to Citi Field for Wednesday night's Nationals-Mets game.
It almost didn't go so well. They were standing together for a field interview near first base during batting practice, when a wild throw from second base came sailing right at America's heavyweight hope in the upcoming Greco-Roman competition. Fortunately, the ball nailed Robbie Smith squarely in the back ... where a huge backpack happened to be positioned to soften the blow.
Actually we're not sure he would even have felt it. Smith describes himself as "a huge baseball fan," and let's just say that he's right about the huge part. The guy is massive with a big beard, and so the selfie he took with Jayson Werth during Nats BP just seemed to make sense.
"I love throwing people on their heads, so why not do it on the biggest stage in the world?" Smith said of his Rio hopes. "I can't wait to get down there and show the world what I got."
He was joined by world champions Adeline Gray (165 pounds) and Helen Maroulis (116.5), and Andy Bisek (165). The quartet got the grand tour of Citi Field from the Mets, and they hung out a bit with Mets left-hander Jerry Blevins, and then with Ryan Zimmerman and Werth.
Werth looked at Maroulis, about half his size, and said, "Wrestling, huh?"
"When I was 7, my little brother needed a wrestling partner," she explained to him.
The "Beat the Streets" fundraising event they are here for is at 6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. Maroulis' family back in the Washington area are Nationals fans, so they are going to especially love hearing about who she met on the visitors' side.
In a matter of months, there is a good chance they are going to be the ones signing autographs. The U.S. wrestling team is expected to be a few notches above the one that went to London in 2012.
"I'm so excited to get after it. I love competition," Maroulis said. "That's why I came to the game tonight, to watch it here. Then when it's my turn, I'm going to love stepping on the mat as well."