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.
- Tom Hanks
- Yomiuri Giants
- ceremonial first pitch
- Ron Howard