In honor of Father’s Day yesterday, the Mets welcomed two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning to Citi Field for the first time, and gave him the privilege of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Although the Giants Quarterback would have liked to put some mustard on his toss, he had his 14-year old daughter, Ava, in his arms, so he said he was forced to play it safe with a light toss. What was more interesting to me was the product that he was sponsoring yesterday, which actually went hand in hand for honoring all fathers.
It looks as though our tough, battle-tested, champion quarterback has been endorsing Pampers diapers, which goes to show you that endorsement deals can come in all different shapes and sizes once an athlete finds success in his/her respective sport. While making his first appearance at Citi Field, Manning proclaimed that he’s a New York baseball fan, cheering for both the Mets and the Yankees. He better be, especially since he’ll be lining up behind center for the New York football Giants for years to come.
Coming from football, Manning touched upon the distinct differences between football and baseball, mainly in the locker room:
“It’s a little different locker-room mentality for baseball and football. We get 16 games, and they get 162. But all the players and coaches were real nice.”
Although everyone knows that comparing baseball and football are like comparing apples and oranges, it was nice to hear that observation from Manning. Some of my friends don’t enjoy baseball as much as other sports because they consider it to be “boring.”
Yea, their words, not mine. What many casual fans don’t understand is that there is a different mindset for baseball, it’s a more relaxed atmosphere, especially since games are played everyday. For football, like Manning said, there are only 16 games each season, so the excitement for a game has to be held by fans all week until kickoff finally arrives Sunday afternoon. Each sport has it’s own grind throughout a season, but they’re drastically different.
Even if other sports have been gaining more popularity in America over baseball (mainly football), it seems that most sports fans have had some connection to America’s pastime at some point in their lives. Manning said it best himself, knowing how important it was to not bounce the first pitch of the game in the dirt. If he had to miss his target, which was David Wright standing behind home plate, he would much rather miss high. Now, that’s a guy that knows what he’s talking about.
Watching Eli Manning tossing out the first pitch with his daughter in his arms was a great way to start the Father’s Day matinee, as Citi Field was littered with plenty of Dads with their children, getting an ice cream cone and enjoying the game, one of many family memories that surrounds the game itself.