January 29, 2023

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Tom Hanks, with assist from Wilson, tosses Guardians' first pitch

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Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks threw out the first pitch during the Guardians’ home opener against the Giants on Friday night in Cleveland. And he brought an old friend with him: Wilson, his co-star from “Cast Away.”

Hanks set Wilson on the mound as he prepared to deliver the ceremonial throw to Larry Doby Jr., whose father was the first Black player in the American League.

But Wilson had other ideas. Wilson rolled off the mound and across the infield before cruising in front of Hanks as he wound up to finally throw the pitch to Doby.

Hanks later joined the Guardians’ broadcast team to discuss his first pitch. How nervous was he?

“I’ve been sweating this since the moment I said I would do it,” Hanks said from the booth. “It’s been a while since my elbow was above my shoulder.”

Hanks is a Cleveland baseball fan going back to his days as an intern at the Great Lakes Theater Festival. He said he developed a deeper love of the sport while attending games in 1977 at old (and often empty) Cleveland Municipal Stadium, where he would sit in Section 19 and keep score. 

“I still have a foul ball hit by Bobby Grich of the California Angels,” Hanks said.

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