Jul 1, 2013
Right down the middle, Alex Tagliani reports, is where the ceremonial first pitch that he delivered before the Toronto Blue Jays hosted the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre on July 1 traveled.
The IZOD IndyCar Series driver, who will compete in the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader at Exhibition Place on July 13-14, joined the Blue Jays in celebrating Canada Day by donning special red jerseys for the country's 146th birthday.
"My goal was to not bounce it before the plate," the driver of the No. 98 Barracuda Racing car said. "Trust me, I have seen all the worst first pitches that made it on YouTube and I didn't want to get there. It was absolutely a thrilling feeling on Canada Day to throw the first pitch to (Blue Jays left-handed pitcher) Mark Buehrle, a race fan. He signed the ball for me and he would have been invited to our pit for the Toronto races if the Blue Jays were in town.
"The atmosphere was amazing and I was surprised by how many IndyCar fans where in the seats on the field. I guess they love action and want to see it from close."
The first 20,000 fans in attendance for the sold-out game received a red replica Blue Jays hat, while one fan received a 2013 Honda Civic Touring Sedan during the game. The Blue Jays won 8-3.
"Overall, thanks to Honda because it's a great way to promote the upcoming Toronto races and to engage sports fans," Tagliani added.