The Texas Rangers recently asked Major League Baseball (MLB) officials for the right to have Dallas Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki throw out the first pitch at a World Series game, a request that has been denied.
Nowitzki was part of a “first-pitch” list that the team had compiled before entering the world series however the league denied his name and they have not given a reason for their action.
During the regular season MLB teams have the right to approve or deny any first-pitch requests that are made, however during the World Series the decision comes down to front office officials.
One source told ESPNDallas.com that it’s likely MLB officials want to stand beside their NBA counterparts who are currently locked in a 111 day battle that has already witnessed the cancellation of the leagues first two weeks of play. However, according to MLB spokesman Pat Courtney:
“MLB absolutely denies that any part in selecting the first ball pitcher had anything to do with the current labor situation in the NBA,” and “You want the club’s input in what makes sense for them and then we talk about what makes sense for the team and a good broad-base national appeal.
“It’s a nice problem to have that you get a list of 10 or 15 names and you work your way through them. We know Nowitzki’s been at the games, and that’s wonderful. We’re glad he’s there.”
The Dallas Mavericks player has denied commenting on the situation at this time but he did tweet the following message:
“Thanks every1 on the support regarding first pitch. Its ok.Mlb is too old school. I will still be there to support our boys. Let’s get game1″
Nowitzki was last seasons move valuable player and he is a diehard Texas Ranges fan who watches every playoff game and he also attending Game 6 of the ALCS.
If selected it would be the second time Dirk Nowitzki has thrown out the first pitch, his first occurring on June 25 when the Rangers took on the New York Mets.
Are you surprise the first pitch request was denied by MLB officials?