I Can't Stop Watching Dr. Fauci's Wild MLB Opening Day Pitch

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been a major face during the pandemic and has been on a lot of TV screens in recent months, so it makes sense he would be one of the people asked to throw out a first pitch during Major League Baseball’s big opening day today. Unfortunately, Dr. Anthony Fauci is much better at talking about disease than he is at throwing baseballs in a straight line.

Fortunately, watching Dr. Fauci totally not get anywhere near the mound on opening day at Nationals Park is just delightful. I think I’ve perused through the clip upwards of 20 times at the time of this writing and I just. can’t. stop. Thanks to ESPN you can watch to your heart’s content too.

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Does it count as a curve ball if it misses the plate altogether? For the big season opener between the Nationals and the New York Yankees, Dr. Fauci was tasked with throwing out the opening pitch, whilst wearing a mask of course. Unfortunately, he’s a better scientist than he is a sportsman, which is probably fortunate, because we pay him to know more about infectious disease than baseball.

Still, the reactions over Dr. Fauci’s foray into Major League Baseball have been a hoot. I'm not the only one who couldn't tear their eyes away from Dr. Fauci's pitch. Take a look!

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Sports journalist Matt Zahn put a topical (and hilarious) twist on the missed pitch by noting that the pitch that went extremely wide definitely qualified as socially-distanced from home plate! Another person on Twitter gave Dr. Fauci "credit" for bringing his pandemic sensibilities to the baseball diamond:

He clearly doesn’t want anyone to catch anything.

Whether it's COVID-19 or the first pitch in the 2020 Major League Baseball at Nationals Park, Dr. Fauci went the extra mile to prevent anybody from catching something! Another person used a clip from the popular baseball movie Major League to illustrate their point:

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I wouldn't go so far as to call Dr. Fauci "Wild Thing" a la Charlie Sheen in Major League, but there was definitely something wild about that pitch! Somebody else channeled their inner Dr. McCoy from Star Trek rather than Major League in reacting to Dr. Fauci's pitch on social media:

Dr Anthony Fauci, threw out the first pitch to restart baseball. He's a doctor, not a pitcher.

Considering this is the kind of year when it totally makes sense for a doctor and immunologist to be famous enough to throw out a Major League Baseball first pitch thanks to the pandemic, who can really argue with this point made on Twitter?

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Well, they can't all be home run-worthy pitches! That's not to say Dr. Fauci wouldn't have benefited from some extra practice before taking the mound, but he has probably had slightly bigger concerns lately. Somebody suggested that he doesn't deserve any mockery:

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Since this is Twitter we're talking about, there are definitely people making fun of Dr. Fauci for his wild pitch, but a lot of them seem to be in good fun. If anything, a very wide pitch from a familiar face is a nice reminder that baseball is back. First pitches from famous people aren't supposed to be perfect, right? Maybe it's for the best that he won't be appearing on Dancing with the Stars, though.

While the Nationals and Yankees had their opening day at National Park on July 23, many other teams are starting on July 24, even if the normal crowds won't be swamping the bleachers to start the season. Check out the MLB schedule for when you can tune in to watch from home, and don't forget to swing by our 2020 summer premiere schedule for more options.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.