ARLINGTON (AFP) – Dirk Nowitzki, the German playmaker who led the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA Finals victory, carried a basketball to the pitcher’s mound Friday for his ceremonial opening pitch at a baseball game.
The Texas Rangers, who lost their Major League Baseball championship bid last year in the World Series to San Francisco, gave Nowitzki the honor of making the ceremonial toss following the Mavericks’ dream title run.
Nowitzki, the Most Valuable Player of the championship series, stepped back and flipped a jump shot with the basketball toward home plate as a cheering crowd roared.
Then Nowitzki pulled a baseball out of his pocket and delivered a pitch to home plate baseball style, making a high leg kick and hurling the ball so high over the plate that Michael Young of the Rangers had to leap high to grab it.
“I had a little more work in on the jumper, so I think it was a little more fluent,” Nowitzki said.
“The only thing I wanted to do on the pitch was not keep it low. I kept it a little high, but it was better than a bounce.”