Encore: Pitch Perfect

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With spring finally here, we're talkin' baseball... again. In celebration of the start of the MLB season, we're listening back to a baseball-themed episode we made last year.  So enjoy some of the baseball references we feature.

First, do check out this great GIF of Snoop Dogg giving it his all during celebrity softball:

Next we turn to the fascinating /r/nevertellmetheodds subreddit, where people post pictures and videos of extremely unlikely things.

About a year ago, someone posted the video below. It's a pretty famous video on the subreddit because... well, just watch:

That's Randy "The Big Unit" Johnson, one of the best pitchers of all time. His fastball consistently clocked in at more than 100 mph, and he's in the Hall of Fame.

Probably the most famous point of his career happened in 2001, where, in a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants, he pitched a fastball, which then immediately barreled into a passing mourning dove.

Yes, he exploded a bird. The umps ruled it a no-pitch so it's not in any official records. But it's very, very well known on Reddit.

And when someone posted that video last year in /r/nevertellmetheodds, Andrew, aka /u/110101002, decided to have a little fun with it.

"I thought I should be a rebel and tell them the odds on the 'never tell me the odds' subreddit," he says.

Which goes against the subreddit's ONE rule which is... don't actually tell anyone the odds.

He determined that there was a .000009% chance that Randy Johnson would hit a bird with any given pitch. Other Redditors chimed in with their own thoughts.

Andrew has been almost banned from the subreddit several times, because he does this kind of thing a lot, telling people the odds. One time he did get banned, for calculating he had a zero to 70 percent chance of not getting banned.

Next, Ben and Amory do a deep dive into one of, in my opinion, funniest subreddits, which is /r/ShowerThoughts — aka, where people share thoughts they had in the shower. The funny, sometimes existential things that only occur to you when you're washing your hair.

Here's a few examples of baseball-related shower thoughts:

(Uh YES they should!)


And finally, get your tissues ready, because we've got a really nice baseball story guaranteed to hit you in the feels.

/u/TheStevieJames, aka Steve, is a lifelong sports fan, mostly because of his dad. They had a ritual of reading the sports section of the newspaper together on Saturday mornings over their hot chocolate and bagels, and then after they'd go throw a ball around.

Steve's dad, Jim, brought him to his first baseball game on Aug. 22, 1998. It was the Seattle Mariners vs. the Chicago White Sox. Jim was traveling from their home state of New Jersey out to Washington for business, and he brought Steve, who was 4, along to see Ken Griffey Jr. — one of Steve's favorite players.

"So one of the fondest memories I have of this is, one of the guys on the Mariners, he was in the batting circle, and I made the comment that he looked like a girl, not knowing that was not the right thing to say, being a 4 year-old kid. And the guy turned around at my dad. We still to this day don‘t know which player it was, but my dad always claimed it was Alex Rodriguez, so I’d like to think that’s who it was," says Steve.

The Mariners won, 5-4, in the 11th inning. It was a very memorable event for young Steve, and it's been on his mind a lot recently because his dad died a few months ago.


Right after Jim died, his sisters sent Steve a package with some baseball memorabilia, some pictures of Steve and Jim together and the ticket stubs to that 1998 Mariners game. His dad had held onto them all those years.

Steve posted a picture of the stuff to the baseball subreddit, where other Redditors chimed in with their own tales of family and baseball.

"It was cool to hear other people’s memories too ‘cause I, in a weird way, helped other people relive their memories with their dads that may or may not have passed away," he says.

And then, a few days later, a comment from MarinersOfficial popped up. Yep, the official Reddit account for the Mariners.

Aug. 22, 2018. Twenty years to the day since Steve went to his very first game with his dad.

"I can’t even describe the feeling that I had when they did that," Steve says. He's going to bring his daughter, who's currently just 3 months old, so her first game can be in Seattle, too.

Steve's dad, Jim, never got to meet his granddaughter. "I think it would have been very emotional for me for him to have met my daughter. I wish he could have. I know he would have tried to teach her sports like he had taught me, and it would have been cool for us to try to teach her together," Steve says.

"I’m hoping she has a love of baseball like I do and my dad did, honestly. I hope she could continue on that tradition with her children and their children’s children."

Thanks to Redditor u/krishartas for this week's artwork, titled "Rawlings baseball glove." Find more of their stuff at

We're on Twitter at @endless_thread and on Reddit as /u/endless_thread. Subscribe to the podcast with Apple PodcastsStitcherRadioPublic or RSS.

Headshot of Meghan B. Kelly

Meghan B. Kelly Multi-platform Editor
Meghan is the multi-platform editor for WBUR.



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