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Striking Out: The Best (and Worst) First Pitches by Musicians

50 Cent isn’t the only star to fail spectacularly on the mound

50 cent mets pitch

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On Tuesday night, 50 Cent was tasked with throwing out the first pitch at the Mets game. Seemed simple enough; after all, it's a scant 60 feet, 6 inches from the mound to home plate, and Fif has never been one to come up short. But with the Citi Field crowd cheering him on – and Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese providing moral support – he did just that, tossing the ball halfway up the first-base line.

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The accompanying video has quickly become the stuff of legend, though you probably shouldn't make fun of 50 if you see him (we wouldn't recommend that under any circumstances, come to think of it). Turns out, the first pitch is a pressure-packed situation, and several big-name stars have crumbled beneath the spotlight. Here are some of the all-time worst … with a few notable successes mixed in for good measure.

And, hey, at least 50 got to keep his jersey. By James Montgomery

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50 Cent: Get Pitch, Die Tryin’

We can't decide what's worse: 50's sorta-sidearm delivery, so bad that it hides the fact that he may actually be right handed, his half-hearted shrug following the disastrous pitch, or the fact that Jonathon Niese looks embarrassed for him. Regardless, it'll be a long time before anyone challenges 50 for the title of worst first pitch … though we suspect there will be plenty of folks lining up to try.


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Mariah Carey, Missing Badly

Until 50 Cent took the mound at Citi Field, this may very well have been the worst first pitch ever attempted. Watching it again today, it still might be. Perhaps Mariah can blame her throw – which went approximately 7 feet before slamming into the turf – on her unconventional attire; after all, you don't see many major leaguers wearing cutoffs and six-inch heels. Or maybe she just wasn't used to pitching in Japan. Either way, Carey's toss at the Tokyo Dome will long live in infamy … if it ever stops rolling, that is.

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Geddy Lee Grooves One

Geddy's not only a prodigious bassist, he's also an obsessive baseball fan. So of course, when he was asked to throw out the first pitch at the Toronto Blue Jays' 2013 opener, he delivered the goods. It started with his power-walk to the mound, then continued right through his pitch (solid mechanics, man!) As an added bonus, we're 100-percent sure he wore his own glove for the occasion. Also, by tossing a strike, he instantly contributed more to the team than the guy catching him, oft-injured pitcher Brandon Morrow.

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Carly Rae Jepsen: ‘Call Me Terrible’

Okay, perhaps we're being too hard on 50 and Mariah … because Carly Rae's truly awful first pitch could be the gold standard against which all others are measured. Like Carey, the "Call Me Maybe" singer decided to wear cutoffs for the occasion, and like Curtis, her toss sailed way outside, but Jepsen bested both of them by somehow managing to clock a camera with her wayward pitch. It was so bad that ESPN baseball analyst Aaron Boone quipped "She needs to consider if she is really right hander. Maybe try left-handed next time." We're pretty sure that won't make a difference.

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Justin Bieber Delivers, Doesn’t Remove His Shirt

Given that he's criticized for pretty much everything, Bieber's first pitch at a 2010 Chicago White Sox game is often lumped in with the worst of all time (the title of the video accompanying this post is "Justin Bieber FAILS at throwing baseball!") But we're gonna come out and say it: JB didn't do that bad. We like how he kinda pitched out of the stretch, and, sure, his throw may have floated out of the strike zone, but at least he got it to home plate. Then again, maybe we're just charmed by his hair. We miss the kinder, mop-topped Bieber of old.  

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Eddie Vedder, Better Man

Vedder's a die-hard Cubs fan, so you know he was pumped to take the mound at the Friendly Confines. He then thrilled the Wrigley Field fans by tossing a perfect strike to pitcher Kerry Wood (even while wearing a collared shirt beneath his jersey). As an added bonus, he stuck around to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch. In other words, this is exactly what we'd do if we were ever asked to throw out the first pitch at a game … though we'd figure out some way to slide into home, too.

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Avril Lavigne Makes Things ‘Complicated’

Remember everything we just said about Eddie Vedder? Apply the exact opposite to Avril, who not only biffed her pitch at a 2011 Tampa Bay Rays game (she didn't even throw it from the mound), but stormed off stage at her post-game concert after unleashing a string of profanities. The normally lifeless Tropicana Field crowd booed – getting them to do anything is an accomplishment – and the Rays were forced to issue an apology for her actions. Needless to say, she hasn't been asked back.

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Snoop Dogg Pounds the Strike Zone

Watching live, the MLB Network analysts joked that Snoop probably wouldn't even manage to get his pitch to home plate, but the Doggfather proved them wrong. His toss wasn't perfect, though we've got to give him credit for throwing while wearing a pair of necklaces (one of which appeared to have a White Sox helmet on it). Ever the showman, Snoop punctuated his pitch by Tebowing for the crowd. We'd like to think he used the moment to contemplate signing a minor-league deal.

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Cee Lo and his Perfect Imperfections

If this list has taught us anything, it's that you've got to wear proper attire while throwing out the first pitch. So, when Cee Lo strode to the mound at Dodger Stadium in shorts and sandals, well, we knew what would happen next. To his credit, the Soul Machine didn't embarrass  himself entirely, though we're giving him bonus points for his wind up, which included several rhythmic butt bounces. Sometimes, style matters … just wear spikes next time, folks.