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Big League Stew

Dirk Nowitzki’s first pitch sails a bit more true this time

Big League Stew

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Dirk Nowitzki is getting better at this first pitch thing.

Just a few months after he celebrated the Dallas Mavericks' world title by almost throwing a pitch over Michael Young's head, the NBA star brought things down a bit with a more respectable throw before Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday.

What was his secret for this one?

"This time they told me to throw a four-seam fastball," Nowitzki said after his ceremonial first pitch at Rangers Ballpark. "I still don't understand what that means."

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Ha, leave it to ol' Dirk for a good old laugh. But, seriously, he threw a four-seamer? {YSP:MORE}

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"I think that's the grip I had," Nowitzki said. "Or was it a two-seam fastball? No, I forgot. It worked out better the last time. (For the last pitch), everybody just told me don't throw it low, so I left it way high, and Michael Young almost pulled a hamstring trying to jump and get it.

"This time I think he could stay in the stance and catch it. So it was better."

Imagine the kind of spin Dirk could get on a breaking pitch with that grip. Hmm ... has he ever thrown a slider with a basketball?

The winners, of course, were all of us, who got to enjoy another round of Nowitzki doing his best Mark Fidrych impersonation. Kudos to MLB for getting out of the way and letting this happen.

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