As one very young Cincinnati Reds fan named Nolan showed us Friday night at Great American Ballpark, it can also be serious business.
Prior to the Reds 6-3 victory against the Chicago Cubs, young Nolan was called on to pitch in relief of the previously scheduled Adam Beaty. Actually, we’re not convinced Nolan was called on. We think he simply wasn’t going to be denied the opportunity of showing Reds fans and perhaps the Reds front office what he could do on the hill.
With a confident swagger that reminded us a lot of Nolan Ryan during his Hall of Fame career, Nolan took the field. Once there, he quickly decided he wasn’t going to be harnessed by the doubters. Rather than throw the ball from 10, 20 or even 40 feet from home plate as he was instructed, he refused to throw the ball until he was on the pitching rubber, 60 feet and six inches from home plate.
What followed was the most determined first pitch we’ve seen, perhaps ever. If not, it certainly was the most determined from a toddler.
We dare say it was also the most memorable and even charming first pitch effort we’ve ever seen. Just check out the way Nolan commanded the field and surveyed his environment, crooked cap and all, before firing away.
Granted, the catcher moved with him. And yes, the pitch still didn’t make it to her glove, but nothing was going to stop Nolan from having the moment he envisioned.
If that doesn’t put a smile on your face, nothing will.
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