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Tom Hanks gets first pitch in Japan, bounces it into Ron Howard

Big League Stew

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As part of an overseas promotional tour for "Angels & Demons," Tom Hanks was invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's Yomiuri Giants and Chunichi Dragons game in Tokyo.

Unfortunately, Jimmy Dugan's skills from the mound turned out to be about as good as Dan Brown's writing ability — even after a few warmup tosses.

From the Associated Press:

With director Ron Howard behind the plate and Yomiuri infielder Hayato Sakamoto in the batter's box, Hanks threw a pitch that bounced several feet in front of home plate before skidding past a diving Howard.

"Tons of practice and I bounced it in the dirt, I'm humiliated" Hanks said. "I went from the rush of being in the sacred spot to the humiliation of being mortal."

No truth to the rumor that the Pope was heckling Hanks from the on-deck circle, but Hanks said he was still thrilled to deliver a pitch from the Tokyo Dome mound, having grown up admiring the legendary home run king Sadaharu Oh. He claims the Indians and A's as his favorite teams, but says he prefers the National League game.

"Dodgers, Cubs and Mets," Hanks said.

I haven't been able to find any video of the pitch yet, so while we wait, please examine Hanks' remarkable resemblance to Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer(notes).

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