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Dirk Nowitzki explains the World Series first pitch situation

Oct 21, 2011, 5:19 PM EDT

New York Mets v Texas Rangers Getty Images

Saturday night you can see NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki in action.

Not playing basketball. No, that’s a whole screwed up mess. Instead, you can see him throw out the first pitch at the World Series Game 3 in Texas.

Which was a screwed up mess in its own right. First the Rangers asked him to do the honors, then the league said no because he didn’t have a wide enough base of appeal (how many baseball players in the World Series have better name recognition than Dirk? Maybe Albert Pujols. Maybe.), then bad publicity rained down on the league, then Bud Selig stepped in and the league changed its mind.

Don’t take my word for it, here’s how Nowitzki explained it to ESPNDallas radio (via Sports Radio Interviews).

“To me, I’m not a guy that needs the spotlight or the attention like a lot of the other guys in my job. It was a little awkward for me and a little embarrassing, too, that the whole thing kind of took off. I think the Rangers called me Monday or Tuesday asking me if I would throw out the first pitch. Obviously that’s great, it’s an honor. And I’m a Rangers fan, so it makes perfect sense. That night, they called me back and said Major League Baseball didn’t want me to do it. I understood. It’s fine either way. I don’t really have to. I wasn’t really hurt or anything by it. … Then it just took off with the tweets I got and people were raging at Major League Baseball and it was intense. … Finally, the commissioner of baseball said I’m back. I’m back in it and I guess now I’m throwing out the first pitch on Saturday.”

Enjoy seeing Dirk in action, it may be the only time we see him in a professional sporting event for a long, long time.

  1. kenchambers - Oct 22, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Anyone who watches sports knows who Dirk is. Things like this make me like MLB even less. Dumbest thing I ever heard if it is true.

  2. Tim's Neighbor - Oct 22, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    MLB runs all WS pre-game activities. The Rangers know this and should have waited on MLB. However, MLB should have let it stand and addressed the issue behind closed door. Just a dumb response to a silly mistake.

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