Why Dave Ross was afraid to throw a baseball

Sep 13, 2018, 7:12 AM | Updated: 4:16 pm

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.


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.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Palestinians flee to northern Gaza as Israeli tanks block the Salah al-Din road in the central Gaza...

Dave Ross

Ross: When deterrence doesn’t work with the Gaza War

Beyond the debate over morality, the Gaza War is teaching us how a conflict between two groups can rip away the veneer of civilization.

7 days ago

Swimmers take part in the annual Sydney Skinny....

Dave Ross

Ross: Beaches in the buff don’t scream ‘Seattle’

It's not necessarily lewd to go naked. It's just that this is Seattle, not Brazil. The climate here doesn't exactly scream "nude."

12 days ago

FILE - Former President Donald Trump waits to take the witness stand during his civil fraud trial a...

Dave Ross

Ross: Turning the Constitution on itself

In a hearing before the DC Court of Appeals, Donald Trump’s attorney argued that the First Amendment protects his political speech and that the gag order against him in the election tampering case is unconstitutional.

13 days ago

Image: Washington Louis sorts through cans of food at the LifeNet4Families community-based food pan...

Dave Ross

Ross: Helping the hungry comes with gratitude that goes both ways

Last week a group of us from KIRO Radio – Management, Sales, and On-Air staff – volunteered at the White Center Food Bank.

14 days ago

Sen. Markwayne Mullin. (Getty Images)...

Dave Ross

Ross: Politics is war by other means

We all know that bullies are a problem. It’s bad enough in the classroom, but it’s really bad when that attitude persists into adulthood and plays out among people in important positions.

18 days ago

Nurse patient...

Dave Ross

Ross: Artificial Intelligence bringing a non-human approach to health care

I'm at the age where after a doctor’s visit I’ll get a form letter basically saying -- we just paid one of your medical bills, please prove it's legitimate.

19 days ago

Why Dave Ross was afraid to throw a baseball