Hollywood actor and Phillies fan Bruce Willis was booed at a Major League Baseball game on Wednesday after throwing out an awkward first pitch. The incident took place at Citizens Bank Park where the Philadelphia Phillies were taking on the Milwaukee Brewers. Wearing a Phillies jersey, Willis hit the field to great applause on his way to the pitcher’s mound. Apparently, Willis did not toss the ball with as much force as those in the audience were expecting, bouncing it off of the ground into the catcher’s mitt. The crowd responded by booing the legendary action movie star, though Willis did not seem to acknowledgement the reaction. Wearing a smile, he shook hands and posed for a photo with pitcher Aaron Nola following the botched pitch.
For what it’s worth, most baseball fans still seem to agree that this was definitely not the first bad pitch they’ve seen come from a celebrity. That dubious honor belongs to rapper and actor Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. In 2014, Jackson threw out the first pitch at an MLB game between the New York Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates. After stepping onto the mound, Jackson reared back and attempted to toss the ball to the catcher, only for it to go wildly off the mark. Although it went much higher than the ball thrown by Willis, it came nowhere close to the catcher, veering to the left by a wide margin. It’s proven to be rather humiliating for Jackson, as baseball fans are quick to recall the pitch anytime another celebrity botches their own.
Of course, we shouldn’t spend too much time picking on Willis and Jackson, as they are not alone in the Bad First Pitch Club. “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen, actor Mark Wahlberg, pop star Mariah Carey, and even the Kardashian family have all thrown heavily criticized pitches as well. Perhaps it’s best for fans not to expect to see an athlete-level pitch coming from any of these other entertainers, because, after all, none of them are professional baseball players. Still, it’s always good for a laugh when these pitches fail in such spectacular fashion.
Throwing bad pitches isn’t the only way for a celebrity to be embarrassed at a professional sporting event. Singing the national anthem also opens itself up for unflattering performances from various entertainers as well. Roseanne Barr will probably always be known for unleashing the most atrocious version of the song ever heard on television. Even professional singers like Fergie, Steven Tyler, and Christina Aguilera have delivered criticized performances of the national anthem. Perhaps celebrities and sporting events just don’t always mix.
Bruce’s wife Emma Heming Willis is taking the razzing of her husband in jest, having some fun with the situation on Twitter. When one fan tweeted that the baseball fans booing were actually all saying, “Bruuuuuuce,” Emma responded, “Happy someone cleared that up.” In any case, it’s an entertaining video, and you can watch the Willis and 50 Cent pitches below, courtesy of MLB on YouTube.