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Staff Picks: Penn Staters Who Should Throw Out The First Pitch On Opening Day

In addition to April Fools Day, this Thursday is opening day of the Major League Baseball season.

This brings back the honored traditions that come with professional baseball, such as peanuts, crackerjacks, and inevitable labor disputes that result in a temporary strike. Perhaps the biggest among these traditions is the ceremonial first pitch, which normally thrown by a famous person but rarely results in a strike.

To help MLB teams find someone to throw out the first pitch, some of our staffers gave their suggestions of some Penn Staters that could deliver a crowd-pleasing strike.

Connor Donohue: Kerry Collins

I’ve grown up a New York Yankees fan, meaning all I know is winning. In my 21 years, I’ve been alive for two World Series titles, which is kind of pathetic, relative to the Yankees (Editor’s note: Boo-hoo, Connor). I grew up idolizing the likes of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. If I needed to pick someone who was going to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day for the Yankees, it would need to be someone that knows how to win. Kerry Collins is that winner.

Collins played quarterback at Penn State from 1991-94, going 21-5 as a starter. Collins was also under center during the historic 1994 season when the Nittany Lions went 12-0 and won the Rose Bowl after being robbed of a national title. Collins then went on to the NFL and played for another one of my favorite teams, the New York Giants. There, he set records and led the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV.

Collins being one of the best quarterbacks to play for Penn State, matched with the fact he was the face of the New York Giants at the turn of the century, makes him the perfect candidate to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.

Jordan Mansberger: Franco Harris

Being a Pirates fan is tough. Often I joke that the best part about being a Bucs fan is that you get to pick a new team to root for every postseason. Without getting into any “This is our year!” talk (it isn’t), Franco Harris would be a perfect candidate for a first pitch.

In addition to his four Super Bowls with the Steelers, Harris has largely credited Joe Paterno for the “Immaculate Reception,” saying that Paterno always encouraged him to finish every play. Might as well give Pittsburgh fans something to look forward to on Opening Day like an immaculate strike.

Frankie Marzano: Bill Donovan

I’ll start with asking the simple question: “Who wouldn’t want to see something as wholesome as Bill Donovan being honored for his time at Penn State by throwing out the first pitch?”

Bill Donovan has worked in the HUB for decades and greets students at the Chick-fil-A line with a smile on his face each day. After working a job for so long, especially where everybody loves him, why wouldn’t he be honored by getting to throw out the first pitch? He would get the standing ovation that he deserves.

Matt Rudisill: Micah Shrewsberry

The newly-minted head coach of Penn State’s men’s basketball team has been making his rounds in Happy Valley over the last week or so. He has been to the Lion Shrine, the Bryce Jordan Center, and Penn State football’s Pro Day, where he talked with coach James Franklin for the first time as a member of Nittany Nation. Shrewsberry also had his first official press conference with Penn State on Tuesday, and what better way to follow that up than by taking a trip to one of Pennsylvania’s two professional baseball stadiums to toss a ceremonial first pitch?

Will Pegler: Saquon Barkley

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Saquon Barkley is one of the best athletes to wear blue and white in Penn State’s history, so why not let him try his hand at pitching? The do-it-all running back is still recovering from his ACL injury from this past season, but the first pitch on Opening Day would be a great way for him to prove that he’s recovering from the injury just fine.

In fact, Barkley already has experience throwing out first pitches. Just after being drafted in the first round by the New York Giants, he threw the ceremonial first pitch for the New York Yankees in May 2018. That pitch obviously left a little bit desired, but I think Barkley absolutely deserves a chance to redeem himself during this year’s Opening Day.

Gabe Angieri: Sue Paterno

I mean, this is an obvious choice, folks. Sue’s packing a cannon for an arm. Some things just make sense. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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