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:
Mar 28, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT
It was a double dose of Force in Saturday’s final rounds of qualifying for the sixth-annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:46 PM EDT
Roundup of the rest of Saturday’s action from St. Petersburg.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:20 PM EDT
NBC Sports Group’s “Off the Grid” digital series hits Mexico City, set to premiere on March 31.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:11 PM EDT
Simona de Silvestro happy to be somewhat disappointed with 11th in IndyCar qualifying at St. Petersburg.
Mar 28, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT
Takuma Sato puts together a successful qualifying effort for A.J. Foyt Enterprises, ending in fifth and best Honda.
Mar 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
After top-four qualifying sweep, the Team Penske teammates are praising each other rather than trading shots.
Mar 28, 2015, 5:24 PM EDT
Power on pole as Team Penske goes 1-2-3-4 in St. Petersburg qualifying.
Mar 28, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT
Indy Lights’ new era kicks off at St. Petersburg with a new driver and team on top in the series’ new car.
Mar 28, 2015, 1:27 PM EDT
More Will Power on top of IndyCar practice at St. Petersburg.
Mar 28, 2015, 1:01 PM EDT
Franck Montagny receives two-year ban from FIA’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Committee.
Mar 28, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT
Swedish driver reaches both Q2 and Q3 for the first time in his F1 career, and will start tomorrow’s race from ninth place on the grid.
Mar 28, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
Ricciardo and Kvyat both get inside the top five thanks to the rain in Q3 in Malaysia, but Massa and Bottas struggle.
Mar 28, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT
Monaco’s circuit for the FIA Formula E Championship is revealed.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:28 AM EDT
Incident involving Jann Mardenborough’s Nissan GT-R claims the life of one spectator at the Nordschleife.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
Dutch youngster scores the best F1 qualifying result for a teenager in 54 years on Saturday in Malaysia.
Mar 28, 2015, 9:15 AM EDT
Spanish driver will make his second debut for McLaren from 18th position on the grid tomorrow.
Mar 28, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT
British driver explains the challenge of judging your qualifying lap in the wet after securing pole position in Malaysia on Saturday.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:49 AM EDT
Merhi and Stevens miss the 107% time required to qualify in Malaysia, but are granted dispensation by the FIA stewards.
Vettel hoping for more rain on Sunday after scoring Ferrari’s first front-row start in two years (VIDEO)
Mar 28, 2015, 7:30 AM EDT
Felipe Massa was the last driver to start on the front row of the grid for Ferrari, lining up second for the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix.
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