CHICAGO (WISH) – Alexander Rossi knows racing. As for baseball, class is still in session.
The reigning Indianapolis 500 champion made the trip to Wrigley Field Thursday under the impression that throwing out the first pitch meant trying to strike out a live major league batter. That’s not a bad idea, Mr. Commissioner.
“I grew up in a small town in northern California and I went to Europe when I was 16 where baseball is not really a thing,” Rossi said. “I’ve been to a cricket game, which I probably shouldn’t admit. But until today, no baseball.”
Rossi’s arrival at Wrigley Field meant the collision of two of the biggest underdog sports stories of 2016. The Andretti Autosport driver became the first American rookie to win the Indianapolis 500 since 1928 and the Cubs, well you know what happened. The only big question that remained on a damp midweek day game on Chicago’s north side: How does Rossi look on the mound?
“They gave me a two seam grip which I thought was a little weird, so I might just palm it and just let it loose,” Rossi said before his first pitch.
The result was high and outside, spared in part by a nice scoop from Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr.
Something tells me Rossi would be game for another mound visit at Wrigley Field next spring.
“It is amazing to be here with the defending world series champs. Just to be able to take it all in, my first baseball game. It is a pretty cool thing to do.”