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Why Dave Ross was afraid to throw a baseball

Many of us have secret fears. For some of you it might be public speaking, or spiders.

For me, it’s throwing a baseball – a silly but real fear that dates back to little league. And so of course, as fate would have it, I would be invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Seattle Mariners game.

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And I decided that not only was I going to say yes, but I am going to throw that pitch from the rubber. The full 60 feet, 6 inches.

I shanghaied friends and relatives to coach me. I set up a five-gallon bucket against my backyard fence. Yesterday, I walked down the tunnel at Safeco Field, through a gauntlet of friends saying “You can do it Dave.”

I tried to believe them, but I felt like a rookie stockbroker about to sink their life savings into Tesla.

And then, there’s first baseman Dan Volgelbach 60 feet and 6 inches away, looking very small for a man his size.

Step forward, swivel, follow through, not too hard – and suddenly – it’s in his glove! My 37-mile per hour fear-ball was a strike!

I have never been a big believer in the power of cheerleading– where people say “I know you can do it” without any supporting data. But it worked yesterday.

And now I’m thinking – if the NFL had ceremonial First Tackles, or airlines started having ceremonial First Takeoffs, I might just be tempted.

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