Apr 9, 2014, 3:47 PM EDT
Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders – and now Carl Edwards as a two-sport star?
After what he showed Tuesday at Kansas City’s Kaufmann Stadium, Edwards might have a new career ahead if this whole NASCAR thing doesn’t work out.
Even though he claimed his baseball ability was virtually non-existent, Edwards showed he can hurl a pretty mean fastball when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday at the Kansas City Royals game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
A native of Columbia, Mo., about two hours east of Kansas City, Edwards professed being a lifelong fans of the cross-state rival St. Louis Cardinals.
But according to the Kansas City Star’s Randy Covitz, Edwards’ “fastball blistered (Royals catcher) Billy Butler’s mitt.”
“You’ve got a pretty good arm,” Butler, an avowed NASCAR fan, told Edwards, according to Covitz’ column in Wednesday’s Star.
While Edwards’ throw had good speed on it, the pitch just a wee bit outside for a ball and not a strike.
Still, it was an experience he’ll likely never forget. And knowing the athlete Edwards is, don’t be surprised if he starts working more on his fastball, curve and control – just in case he may want to further pursue this whole baseball thing somewhere down the road.
“That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” Edwards told Covitz after running off the field amid a flurry of fist bumps from Royals players and even Yost himself.
“I was a little nervous about the first pitch. I warmed up a little bit (Monday) night,” Edwards said. “I haven’t thrown a baseball for a long time. My strategy was to throw it as hard as I could.”
Making his first-ever visit to Kaufmann Stadium, Edwards was supposed to have a much wider overall experience, including taking batting and outfield practice. But his plane was late from Charlotte, leaving him only to take part in the first pitch activity.
But the Royals know talent when they see it, especially since several members of the team, including manager Ned Yost, are avowed NASCAR fans.
“Our guys watch NASCAR,” Yost told Covitz. “They know who Carl Edwards is. I’ve always admired him, always respected him, and from time to time take him on my fantasy team.”
Edwards is currently third in the Sprint Cup standings and has one win in the first seven races (at Bristol three weeks ago).
Covitz’ column had the perfect end to Edwards’ brief stint as a pseudo-big leaguer.
Wrote Covitz: “Even Tampa Bay’s three-time All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria wanted a piece of Edwards.”
“He had a question … how we went to the restroom in the car,” Edwards laughed. “That was his only question. Real technical stuff was being discussed out there.”
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
Check out Edwards’ pre-first pitch interview:
Aug 30, 2015, 10:39 PM EDT
It wasn’t the result, but the strength, of Oriol Servia in Justin Wilson’s car this weekend that shown through.
Aug 30, 2015, 10:34 PM EDT
A look at how the championship hopes for the three drivers ended in the GoPro GP of Sonoma.
Aug 30, 2015, 9:49 PM EDT
Dixon pulls off a shocker in Sonoma.
Aug 30, 2015, 9:17 PM EDT
Juan Pablo Montoya blamed the double-points awarded in the season finale for missing out on the IndyCar championship.
Aug 30, 2015, 8:47 PM EDT
Rahal endures disastrous finale at Sonoma, falls from second to fourth after 18th place finish.
Aug 30, 2015, 7:18 PM EDT
Dixon wins race, title in Sonoma in dramatic fashion.
Aug 30, 2015, 6:15 PM EDT
Will Power and Juan Montoya must fight from the back of the field following an accident.
Aug 30, 2015, 5:01 PM EDT
Robin Miller remembers Justin Wilson in this touching tribute.
Aug 30, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT
Webber and the no. 17 Porsche crew claimed their first win at the 6 Hours of Nürburgring on Sunday.
Aug 30, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT
Chevrolet wins its fourth straight INDYCAR Manufacturer’s Championship.
Aug 30, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
With heavy hearts, IndyCar moves ahead and will crown its champion this afternoon in Sonoma.
Aug 30, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT
Catch up on the Red Bull Global Rallycross season at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Aug 30, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT
Maldonado keen to make up for his DNF in the Belgian Grand Prix at Monza.
Aug 30, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
What to watch for ahead of the 16th and final round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma from Sonoma Raceway.
Aug 30, 2015, 1:42 PM EDT
Pole-sitter Will Power claimed the fastest time in the 30-minute session.
Aug 30, 2015, 1:01 PM EDT
Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard claim their first WEC victory since joining forces at the beginning of the 2014 season.
Aug 30, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
Grosjean sets his sights on repeating his third-place finish in Belgium last weekend.
Aug 30, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
“If somebody wants to go into Formula 1 and they think that they can do it from one to the next year, I think he shouldn’t try to do it.”
Aug 30, 2015, 10:13 AM EDT
While there’s no shortage of wineries in Napa Valley, few have racing tie-ins, and fewer still get a racing tie-in at Sonoma Raceway – here’s the story of the Trefethen Family Vineyards.
Aug 30, 2015, 10:04 AM EDT
Rossi wins a wet-weather thriller to regain the lead of the MotoGP world championship.
- Double points reverse Montoya’s IndyCar championship hopes (VIDEO) 3
- Scott Dixon captures Sonoma race win and 2015 IndyCar championship (VIDEO) 9
- Robin Miller pays tribute to Justin Wilson (VIDEO) 1
- WATCH LIVE: IndyCar’s championship decided in Sonoma at 1 p.m. PT, 4 ET on NBCSN 1
- What to watch for: IndyCar at Sonoma (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN and Live Extra) 0
- Porsche’s no. 17 car surges to maiden WEC victory in 6 Hours of Nürburgring 2
- Audi boss Ullrich laughs off continual F1 rumors 2