Dennis Oliver to Throw Out the First Pitch at Gem’s Game
Tomorrow night the Quincy Gems will be meeting the Lafayette Aviators in the home opener for the Gems in Prospect League baseball action. It will also be Y101 Radio night at the ballpark at Q.U. Stadium. Game time is 6:35 and the ceremonial first pitch will feature Dennis Oliver throwing the baseball to Jeff Dorsey (aka..The Big Dog). That should happen around 6:10 Saturday night. The 50-50 drawing will also be held that evening during the game with proceeds going to the Alzheimer's Association, a disease my battery mate and good friend is dealing with.
The first time Dennis threw out the first pitch to me was a few years ago and he about killed me. I asked him ahead of time if he could throw the ball 60 feet 6 inches to the plate and he said yes. I told him then if he couldn't, he needed to move to the front of the pitcher's mound and toss it from there.
What happened next sent flashes of my life going through my mind as he threw a fastball and bounced it 5 feet in front of the plate. As a catcher with no protection on and only a glove to save my manhood, I instinctively managed to knock the ball down with said glove and save myself from lasting pain (ask Yadier Molina).
After that adventure, one would ask why I would consider catching another toss from Mr. Oliver ever again, yet I did last year. This time it landed to my left and went back to the screen. Some called it a passed ball and others called it a wild pitch. I left it to the official scorer.
So here we will be tomorrow night. Me behind the plate and Dennis on the hill. Only God knows what could happen this time. I guess you will just have to come on out and see for yourself.