Pulling A McCoy

Tonight, I’m going to trot myself down to the Skydome (yeah, I know. Technically they renamed it to "The Rogers Centre" but it’s always going to be the Skydome to me) and someone is going to hand me a baseball, and I’m going to pitch it at someone.  I’ve been imagining this person is the catcher, but last night Amy (who threw out the first pitch last year) said that I might throw it to the mascot.  (I’m going to have to prepare for that.)

I’ve been to the Stitch ‘n Pitch before. It’s fun.  Really fun.  I love that for safety reasons (because our attention isn’t entirely on the game) we’re seated where a knitter is unlikely to take a foul or home run to the head.  (I love it because it makes me wonder how they think knitters manage?  I knit all the time and it’s not like I’m the victim of a constant parade of bizarre accidents as a result. It just cracks me up. I’m probably getting a ball to the head tonight just for saying it.  In any case, it’s very thoughtful of them.)  

I’m a little worried about this. It’s not like I really think that throwing out a bad first pitch could possibly impact the rest of my life  (except for the mocking- and really, YouTube would probably take the video down after 10 years… or at least that’s what the ticket guy for the Blue Jays told me) so even the humiliation wouldn’t be forever… it’s that I’m not sporty, I’ve never been sporty, and as I get older the sportyness only eludes me further.   I’m totally fit – I’m happy to run, swim, bike – anything you like.  It’s the actual sports, like basketball, lacrosse, hockey and baseball that have never, ever been a part of my life, and I’m pretty sure the first time I pitched a baseball was on Sunday, at 42 years of age.

My buddy Kim, who’s a big baseball guy – he watches and plays, took me out to a field and told me how. We worked on all kinds of things.  Things I’m supposed to remember.  I hold the ball just so, I remember to hold it tightly or it goes all over the place when I release.  I step forward with a certain foot… I look where I want the ball to go… Kim walked me though the whole thing, and 20 minutes later- when the balls I was throwing were at least near his glove some of the time… Kim told me I was better than 80% of the celebrity first pitches he’d seen, told me I was going to be fine and dropped me off at Joe’s work again.

I felt not too bad then.  Really, not too bad at all- so I dragged Joe outside to show him how good I was at throwing a ball.  That’s when all four I threw to him went in unpredictable places- and that’s when I realized that this whole thing might be a bit of a crap shoot.  I mean, I can practice, but muscle memory and skill take time, and really this isn’t enough time.  I tossed a ball around again with Rachel H yesterday, and she said that 80% of them were pitches a catcher would catch, and not to worry too much.  She also said that standards would be low, and that I’m good at other things, and that I shouldn’t stress on it.

I’ve been stressing on it.  I tossed a few to Joe last night and he said they were good too.. and I wondered why I still feel so nervous.  This morning I had a crazy total moment of clarity.   Attendance tonight will likely be about 15 000 people- and I thought about that. It turns out that it might not be the idea of 15 000 people watching me throw a ball that stresses me out.  Frankly, it’s the idea of that many people watching me do ANYTHING that’s uncool.  I was smart to focus on the ball part, because it turns out that if I take the ball throwing out of it, and just imagine walking out there and standing there for a minute, I still want to puke. All I can think today is that I want to knit. 

Pattern: Leyburn,  Yarn: BMFA lightweight in Blue Brick Wall.  July’s commitment to the self-imposed sock club.

I’m going to try and relax about this. I’m going to show up (there’s a meet and greet/sign your books thing  at 5:30, if you’re interested) and then I’m going to go down there, someone will hand me a ball, and I will walk out there, and I’ll toss the thing, and whatever happens. Happens.  Maybe I’ll trip and fall down in front of 15 000 people.  Maybe I’ll throw a bad pitch.  Maybe it will all go great. There’s just no way to know.  I’ve practiced, I’ve tried to learn a new thing, and when it’s all said and done, I’ll go back up to my seat, snag a beer and knit, and I’ll work on letting myself off the hook for whatever happens because it’s supposed to be fun, and no puppies will die if I don’t get it right. I’m not supposed to know how to pitch.  I’m not supposed to be comfortable in front of that many people. I’ve got other talents, and tonight "not having a heart attack on the field" is just going to have to be one of them.  I’ve got a plan, and the way I’m getting myself there is by pulling a Mental McCoy.
Whatever happens tonight, when you see me out there,  here’s what I’ll be thinking. 

Dammit Jim.  I’m a knitter, not a baseball player.

199 thoughts on “Pulling A McCoy

  1. You will be just fine at the Stitch and Pitch tonight, I’m sure. If anyone should dare question your pitching skills, just tell them your arms are built for knitting/spinning anyway, not pitching! 🙂
    Very pretty Leyburn socks – I am getting inspired to try this pattern myself, having now seen it in lots of different yarn colorways.
    Hope you and other yarnies have fun tonight!

  2. Don’t worry-it is just a few seconds before a game starts. It really isn’t important where the ball lands, just that you threw it. After all, knitters are not expected to be basball players. This is a courtesy, and a light-hearted honor.
    Don’t sweat it. Laugh about it if it turns out well, and laugh about it if it goes all wonky.
    This is supposed to be FUN!!!

  3. Good luck tonight!! (and I loooove this month’s sock… a fantastic pairing of pattern and yarn!)

  4. Marilyn (above) has it exactly right. It’s supposed to be fun! It will be over in a few minutes and following that there’s beer and knitting… win/win situation! 🙂

  5. Relax, you’ll be fine. No matter how bad you think it is, just remember JLo.

  6. Truly, you’ll be fine. As you said…no puppies will be harmed in the making of this YouTube video.
    There is a long history of sad and wonderful pitches out there. Just enjoy the beer.

  7. Take some knitting out to the pitchers mound with you. Knit a few stitches–just enough so the crowd will know what you’re doing. Stick the knitting in your back pocket. Throw the ball. Pull out your knitting, knit a few more stitches (enough so that the crowd will get it), then walk off the mound.
    The crowd will go wild (and everyone will know that knitting, not pitching, is your activity of choice.)
    And may the Force be with you.

  8. Ah, Steph – you will be great! Wish I could see it on TV! I’d trade with you in a minute – with a slight change of venue, that is. I’m a Chicago Cubs fan up in northern Minnesota. I didn’t get on the field even when I lived in Chicago! Still a huge baseball fan in my seventies. Just enjoy! It’s a treat many of us would kill for! And most of the onlookers wouldn’t even do as well as you will! Courage!

  9. Remember to breathe, and as long as nobody is harmed, it won’t be the end of the world–or even worse, your knitting career–if things don’t go as you planned and the first pitch ends up somewhere else besides the catcher’s mitt.
    See you tonight–I’ll be the one knitting! 😛
    Nancy in TO

  10. I’m with Austin Val–knit as you walk out there. One not-needing-to-shake-the-earth throw, but a giant recognition of knittters. Looking forward to the youtube, whatever happens.
    and yes, love the Leyburns.

  11. Look at it this way: You wish no one would look at you when you throw tonight. Thousands of knitters (including me) wish we could see your pitch televised. (The team could have lined up a knitting sponsor — call it the Blue Moon Ceremonial Pitch, and show your Leyburn socks. Can you imagine how many skeins of Blue Brick Wall they would sell? But I digress.) So tonight is a compromise. Only 15,000 people will see you, and most of them won’t actually see you because they will be busy buying beer. Wishing you all good luck, though you don’t really need it. Whatever you do, it will be something to tell your grandchildren.

  12. I agree with Austin Val. Think you should definitely do what she suggests. Our Stitch and Pitch is on 8/8 and I don’t have an idea of who will throw the first pitch. Wish you could come to Detroit and join us in the stands. We’d love to have you with us.

  13. Just wear those socks and one of your sweaters and no one will look at the base ball! … and at least you aren’t the expendable security guy on this away mission!

  14. Please don’t take this post the wrong way. But, you will be surprised how many will actually miss your pitch. Some will be in the stands buying hot dogs and drinks, some will be talking and trying to get the attention of their friends, and, some will be counting their stitches. So not everyone there will be watching the first pitches.
    And, remember, tomorrow it will be over; only your knitting will be before you.

  15. I wish I could be there tonight! People are going to be offering you more advice and my two cents is just to have fun! If you goof, you goof. It happens to everyone.
    My question to you though, Will you take a sock progress with you to the mound and take some pictures of your sock with the crowd of knitters? That I would looove to see!
    Have fun and have some beer for me!!!!

  16. There might be 15,000 people in the stands watching you, but there will be hundreds of thousands of knitters sending you good vibes! You’ll be great!

  17. No sweat! Most of the 15,000 people will be waiting in line to get beer while you’re throwing. You’re going to be bummed because you’re going to throw the perfect pitch and no one will see it. (It could be worse. You could be singing your national anthem.)

  18. ahaha. sometimes in life you just need to pull a McCoy.
    note that McCoy usually does ok at all the other weird stuff Kirk asks him to do, even though it’s not in his nature. and even if he screws up, he’s still a DOCTOR and that’s way more interesting/important.
    so think of it this way: you won’t stop being a knitter, regardless if you do well or if you fall flat on your face. you’re still you. so do your best and look forward to knitting during the game!

  19. Just remember: all those baseball players can’t knit and would be very self-conscious and clueless if someone asked them to turn a heel or spin or make a lace shawl. Relax and enjoy!

  20. You’ll do fine. Have fun! I doubt any of the other celebrity types practice this much. What time is this game? I’m going to have to search You Tube so I can view your amazing pitch.
    So people in the Blue Jays organization actually talk to you? I need some pull. I’ve called and emailed b/c I have a question (can a gluten-free mom & kid find food there? and if not, can I bring some in?), and it’s a great wall of silence. I think it’s because they know I’m a Red Sox fan. 🙂

  21. I would say knit for about 10 minutes before you have to pitch the ball to calm you down some. Then think how you only have to throw the ball once. If you miss, it’s not the end of the world. If you throw it and somebody catches it, it is awesome.
    Better yet, talk to your friend who gave you the “crude but bitingly realistic” comment a couple of days ago, who will put it all in perspective.
    And dude, pitching a baseball? New hero for an entirely different reason, and I don’t even like baseball.

  22. Enjoy it! And be eternally grateful you don’t have to sing. Sending good vibes your way (and setting my alarm to search YouTube for the video tonight)

  23. I was wondering when you were going to get to the “Dammit, Jim” part. LOL!!!! Break a leg and all that… I feel somehow proud to know that a “celebrity knitter” gets to throw out the first pitch.

  24. “doing anything uncool”? I think that throwing the opening pitch at the stitch n’ pitch is VERY cool. It doesn’t matter where the ball goes, or even if it goes anywhere at all. Yes, there will always be people who will be rude about it, or people who love you who will heckle you . . . but uncool it is not.
    Oh, and if you haven’t tried Bach’s Rescue Remedy (homeopathic stuff), you should. I live by it, and it’s amazing how it helps your system handle stress. :o) (It helps that it’s in a base of brandy and water . . . and just a few drops under your tongue is all it takes.)
    You’re going to be great! Can’t wait to see it . . .

  25. Lady, those are some kind of awesome socks. You do socks like nobody’s business… so I recommend that you wear really nice socks, and concentrate on how awesome they are right up to the pitch. Then just don’t throw the ball at any passing puppies, because you wouldn’t want to injure one.

  26. You can do it Harlot!
    The catcher is a professional. He catches balls for a living. (that doesn’t sound quite right…) At the beginning of every game, he catches one thrown by a non-professional. He would be very embarrassed if he, a professional catcher, misses what you’ve thrown, so I am sure he will catch anything you chuck his way.
    Plus remember – it’s only a few seconds. You can do anything for a few seconds. You’ve had babies, for crying out loud.
    We love you no matter what.

  27. Stephanie
    Good Luck! Look forward to seeing the video! I like the idea of you heading out there knitting then pitching, then knitting again. That may calm your nerves a little. Enough not to puke anyway! It is good to scare yourself once a day…Courage, my friend! Rebecca

  28. My husband suggests that you should knit a baseball cosy & slip it on the ball before you pitch. Then, no matter what happens to your pitch, you can blame it on the less-than-areodynamic properties of the ball itself.

  29. That would be awesome if you knitted on your way out to the mound. You’re going to be great! Maybe have a few sips of beer before you go onto the field. Wish I could be there.

  30. First, good luck. We’re all pulling for you.
    Second, you really ought to take a sock-in-progress-before-the-pitch photo.
    Third, last I checked, knitting wasn’t really that cool either (I mean, compared to bad pitching.) I say rock the uncoolness.

  31. LOL!
    I love that!
    Hey, I don’t care where the ball goes–I’ll like you no matter what.

  32. Good luck! Great attitude. Star Trek as a way of getting through life… gotta love it.
    Great spinning!

  33. You’re going to be perfect because RachelH helped you, and whatever she helps with always works out right. Always.

  34. Hmmm…if by “pulling a McCoy” means you forget most of what input goes in your ears, then I guess I am living up to my married name, which IS McCoy! How bout that? BTW, I’d be happy to throw that pitch for you if you’d show me how to decipher a certain baby sweater pattern.

  35. Like you I’ve never been “sporty” but am happy to run, bike, or hike forever. Being a lesbian, I can offer this snappy explanation for my shortcomings: “I don’t do sports with balls.”

  36. Dr. McCoy would prescribe a bit of Saurian brandy before you head out, methinks.
    (I’d like to see the pitcher or catcher knit a sock. You have a larger skill set than they do!)
    Have fun!

  37. A bunch of knitting friends and I went to the Pittsburgh Pirates Stitch N Pitch this past Sunday. A good time was had by all. As for the Mental McCoy (I about spit up my tea reading that) all I can say is if you mess up the pitch you can always have Scotty beam you up…

  38. You’ll be fine. And if it seems advisable, trot out your athletic injury. You know, you Tour de Fleeced your arm to bits, exceeded all expectations and spun up a fantastic amount, and now you’re “pitching hurt”.
    I don’t usually root for anything related to the Jays (Braves fan, here), but I’ll be hoping their opening pitch goes well tonight.

  39. You never know about where that ball will aim. First Stitch n Pitch in Milwaukee was sitting, knitting, chatting with new found friend next to me when out of the blue comes a ball aimed right for our heads. Her husband yelled in time for us to move our heads in the correct directions as the ball whizzed by and into the hands of the man behind us!
    So, no matter where you sit keep your eye out for that pop fly!

  40. With all of your spinning it got me to thinking, next Olympics you should do a relay (I’m sure someone already came up with this but I think it is brilliant) someone cards/shears/what ever it is you do to the fiber, then passes it off to be spun, then to be plied, then knit, then finished and embellished. Then the whole group could give it as a gift or something.

  41. I’ll be checking YouTube so I can be impressed. And kinda like you wrote, no child will die if you accidentally throw to third base. (“No child died” is a favorite phrase of a good friend of mine. Clearly, you and she have your priorities straight.)

  42. Ugh, those sponsored-stadium names suck. Thank goodness Dodgers Stadium is still Dodgers Stadium. It’s bad enough the Lakers have Staples Center. (Do I really need to be reminded of office supplies at a basketball game? Another reason to knit at games, I suppose. Hey, wouldn’t a yarn-store sponsored sports venue be cool…? Yeah, probably not.)
    Again, have fun tonight, I have a feeling yr gonna put it RIGHT OVER THE PLATE. No pressure or anything.

  43. Here’s hoping that you don’t do anything that gets coverage on the news here in Ottawa. But perhaps I’ll tune in to the sports segment tonight just in case you’re on…

  44. Have a blast tonight! I love that last line. Dammit Jim! (Maybe you should be throwing out the first pitch at Comic-Con in San Diego.)

  45. Perhaps you could swap the baseball for a ball of yarn….you will really be remembered then.
    Maybe not, the muggles think we knitters are wierd enough already!

  46. You will be awesome tonight. Then go sit, knit, and try to keep track of the ball.
    I’m about as unsporty as is possible yet I have a baseball injury. About 15 years ago our son took us to the then-new Coors Field to see the Colorado Rockies.
    Not paying attention, I took a line-drive homerun ball to the knee. Every day I know that I have a right knee and it has a sports injury.

  47. Yeah, too bad it’s not a Stitch n’ Catch and you had to CATCH the first ball instead of pitch it. Then you could just pretend someone is throwing out balls of free qiviut…Good luck, tonight, Yarn Harlot! You do knitters proud whether you pitch well or not!

  48. Can you throw a ball of yarn instead? I think that would help your nerves. If you can’t imagine the baseball is a ball of wool, it might help. Good luck!

  49. I once turned a heel in front of about 500 people waiting to direct my elementary winter holiday program. You could knit in front of 15,000 people- no problem. Just pretend the ball is a really heavy ball of yarn. The itchy kind you don’t love and just want it to leave your hands. Better still- pretend it’s that lace that has a dropped stitch at the beginning of the row that you have to tink back and fix. I can throw that beast like crazy!

  50. I’m with Presbytera!
    You’re going to do just fine.
    And you’ll be wearing the prettiest pair of socks in the Skydome, because all of the socks you make are beautiful.
    (Especially the Leyburns!)

  51. I conducted my high school band in the playing of the National Anthem. I was so nervous I gave the wrong downbeat. Think anybody noticed?
    You’ll be swell, Bones.

  52. All that prep work and you’re still worried? Can I help with some more perspective? 15,000 good natured Toronto fans should be a cakewalk. Here in Philadelphia our Phillies regularly draw about 44,000 “passionate” fans to each game (read: quick to boo). Plus our cheeky but lovable Phillie Phanatic never misses an opportunity to poke fun.
    Do the knitters proud tonight – hum that ball in there and show ’em what girls who play with sticks and string can do! 🙂

  53. Must agree w/Marilyn @ 11:11a.m.!! Plus, you’re accustomed to mocking; you’re a mother of teens! haha
    I am amazed @ your commitment to the sock club! It’s very motivating, and they’re beautiful!

  54. A few years ago they had Girl Guide night at a Whitecaps game and our Provincial Commissioner was aksed to do the ceremonial kick-off. She assumed she would just tap it to the team captain – a foot or so – but, no they expected her to boot it. And she did and impressed the hell out of her grandson. You’ll be great and I’ll be checking YouTube.

  55. Aim for the catcher’s head! Make him work to catch that ball that’s gonna rocket it’s way to the plate. Stride out there in all your knitterati awesomness and show ’em that fiber folk are a force to be reckoned with!
    BTW – you can always step off the pitchers’ mound and walk a couple feet closer to home plate so the ball doesn’t hit the ground halfway and roll to a stop. 😉
    The Stitch’n Pitch at the Seattle Mariners uses a ball with yarn tailing off it so when thrown, it looks like a ball of yarn flying through the air. Who would have guessed that just 6 years ago knitters would have a special night at the ballgame set aside just for them? Maybe the Muggles in the world are getting a clue…
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!

  56. You’ll be fine. If you get nervous, just imaging the entire pitching staff trying to knit something for the first time. Fabulous socks, by the by.

  57. I recommend practicing a theatrical expression for if the ball goes wide. Not because that’s going to happen, but so that you feel prepared.

  58. Good luck tonight. I am endeavoring to send positive thoughts from Wash DC all the way to Toronto.
    Concentrate on what you’re doing and you’ll be great. Then concentrate on the Lebatt Bleu (sp?) or whatever is your choice of refreshment.

  59. You’ll be just fine. It’s just you and the ball and the mitt. Something else to think of is this… How many pro ball players can knit a pair of socks that look that awesome or or spin and ply that much fibre in such a short period of time?

  60. Who’s Jim? Or Bob? You mention these names when sporting things happen (i.e. Knitting Olympics). I tried Googling and couldn’t really find anything, except Jim Hughson, but he seems to be retired. Just curious.
    P.S. If you aren’t knitting at a baseball game (then you don’t see the first pitch…dropped stitch), or watching small children (then you don’t see the first pitch…you are in the bathroom), you have probably had too much to drink and then you don’t remember the first pitch. Well, at least at a Brewers game in Miller Park.

  61. I tell my riding students in their first competitive class to have clear goals: try to stay on the horse and don’t let it kick the judge. So, whether they come out with a ribbon or not, they are successful. It isn’t that the goals are low, it’s that they are appropriate – and focused on the horse, like you on the ball. The kids come out smiling and you will too – knit on – love the socks. Want my knitter friend to make me some cause I’m a sock hog.

  62. Are you kidding?! Do you know how many people would give their eyeteeth to even step onto the field much less get to pitch? The crowd, those who aren’t buying beer, will cheer your name, clap when you throw, and just generally be very very good natured. So stand there, breathe deep look around, and just take it all in! And when you’re back in the stands, and the adrenaline subsides…laugh and drink beer, giggle and drink beer, and just enjoy the game. We are all so proud you were chosen!

  63. Umm … I’m certainly no baseball expert, but I think you pitch it “to” someone, not “at” them. I picture the catcher ducking. 😉

  64. Not that it is about “us”… The Blog Readers… but we will appreciate you whether your pitch goes all the way to the catcher or lands at your feet. We are glad to have you be our representative for the world of all things knitterly at the game. When you are out on the field, we are all out there with you, our hearts and our heads. Go out there, take a good look around, see all those knitters? take a breath, toss the ball, and go enjoy your evening.

  65. You know, most people will consume enough beer in that stadium that if you were to goof it, they won’t remember.
    The knitters (and quite a few crocheters) will still think you are the coolest thing since Addi Turbos to throw out the first pitch!
    Personally, I think it’s equal in coolness to SNA snazzy circular needles. Yeah, you *are* going to be that good tonight!

  66. How crappy you feel right now is how fabulous you’re going to feel as you sit down. May not even need the beer — but have it anyway. Have two. And a Romulan ale.

  67. Steph, I think you’re just one of those people who suffers from stage fright generically. You always get the jitters when you’re about to give a speech to knitters, and we *know* you’re great at giving speeches to knitters!
    You’ll be great.
    Nice socks, BTW.

  68. You know the marvelous thing about doing something you suddenly realize you are absolutely jelly-kneed-scared-oh-what-the-heck-have-I-gotten-myself-into of doing? Makes ya stronger.
    Suck it up, get in there, and do your best. I suspect you’re gonna be just fine.

  69. You’ll be fine! After all, you’ll be with knitters and happy people drinking beer at a big baseball themed party! Dance a little (you DO come from a dancing family, after all), laugh a lot, and maybe consider that idea of a ball cozy! LOL.
    Love, love, love the Leyburn socks. Wish I could figure out the toe directions!

  70. Just pretend you’re throwing that pitch to Kim, regardless of whether it’s the catcher, the mascot, the owner…whoever. Just replace them with Kim, and you’ll be gold. You’ll rock it anyway, for Thou Art the Yarn Harlot, and if you can rock that moniker all over the intarwebz for years? A little baseball thing ain’t gonna bring you down.
    Play ball! And pass that ball of sock yarn. ;D

  71. You’ll be great or at least not totally sucky. Our local Northwoods League Green Bay Bullfrogs (Class A maybe?) is having Stitch ‘n Pitch tonight too! One of my knitting friends proposed it to team management and they agreed, so we get a seat and a hat and a hot dog and a “beverage” and we get to sit outside on a gorgeous summer night and knit. I’ll let you know how how the first pitch goes here. D’you think it’s shorter from the mound to the plate in the minors? Nah, probably not.

  72. Just imagine you are throwing a ball of yarn in fury after the gauge swatch has lied to you and you now have to rip away. I always manage to lob those pretty darn far. 🙂 Good luck!

  73. Something to remember is that even Professional Baseball Players throw wild pitches. Not that infrequently either. You’ll be fine.

  74. OMG, I know that colorway! My first (and so far only) pair of socks were done in it. I love the way it knits up with Leyburn.
    Good luck with keeping Bones in your head while you throw the pitch…

  75. I’m sure it will go fine, and really it’s only about 2 minutes and you’re done being on the field. And that thing where they put the knitters where they are unlikely to be hit by a ball? Be very glad of that. I’ve seen inattentive fans of all ages get clocked by errant balls, and even broken bats. I think Stitch & Pitch would be more of a success without anyone making a trip to the hospital. But that’s just me.

  76. OK, so from someone who has taken a linedrive to the head from a softball…it hurts. don’t do it. 3rd baseman heard the “crack” sound as the ball hit my head.. My first and last day on a womna’s softball team….I suggest you wear an amazing knit top.. the knitters will be so focused on the amazing knitwear and the non-knitters will be busy ordering beers and hotdogs. You’ll be just fine.

  77. Go out there thinking “I have raised three kids!! I am still together with my honey. I am powerful and One with the world!” and your pitch will fly off your fingers.

  78. How many people do you think are watching you on the blog?! And you often confess the daft things you’ve done to us when you could totally conceal them and pretend you’re the coolest, deftest knitter ever…

  79. You’re a brave woman! And you both knit and spin like the wind. I’d like to see even half of the 15,000 people who will be there tonight spin as much as you spun during the Tour de Fleece. You’re awesome 🙂

  80. Honey, whatever happens, you’ve got the love and good vibes of thousands of knitters behind you. Just go out there and hum that sucker! And I love the suggestion of knitting your way out to the mound and back. It’ll calm you.

  81. It could be worse. You could be singing the national anthem. (Do you sing “O Canada!” at Blue Jays games?)
    I hope someone will take a picture that you can post tomorrow. A *nice* picture, of course!

  82. Considering what I’ve heard done to National Anthems, I wouldn’t worry about 1 pitch……but I vote for the knitting before & after method.
    You’ll be just fine 🙂

  83. Switch out the baseball for a ball of yarn, it will unravel at the feet of the catcher in a glorious mess of yarn! Problem solved.

  84. Holy Smoly , you do get worked up eh ?To heck with it , just say to yourself as you walk out to the field “”Here I come you lucky people””. then just pretend you are throwing a ball of yarn and voila– right into the mitt. HOPE can see this on TV. All the knitters are with you .

  85. Heavens – a Trekkie!
    Wait – do they broadcast this live on the web? Can we watch? Oh, darn – looks like you have to pay for a package.

  86. Wish I could see this. Don’t wear your glasses and then you won’t be able to see the 15,000 people. Leave them with your knitting and feel your way back to your yarn and your beer. Good luck–I know you’ll do great. And just in case you needed to be told, the blog doesn’t love you because of your throwing skills–we love you because you are a knitter who makes us laugh. You go girl.

  87. Love the thought. I’m stealing that idea and for my own going-badly types of situations.
    I’m sure all your worrying will be for naught and you will get the ball near the catcher’s glove. All of us fans love you and want you to succeed.

  88. You’ll be FINE. I’m the sporty type and I’ve been onfield at Citizens Bank Park before. (Our SnP is Aug. 10; wanna come?) Because there are SO many people around you, you don’t notice them as individuals. It’s just a big mass of color, like a fleece before it’s a yarn. The only faces you’ll really see are the ones close to you, and they won’t be laughing at you. Just be careful around Ace; I hear he can get fresh if you’re not paying attention.
    You should plan a post-game reward, no matter what. Like a day-long yarn crawl at your favorite LYSs. After all, this is stressful, and when you survive it, you deserve a treat.
    Worst case, remember the line from Bull Durham: Don’t think, just throw. 🙂

  89. Dammit Steph, knock their socks off with your pitch! (Then you can knit them some more)
    Wish it was on UK tv – I’d be cheering!

  90. I second (or third, or ninetieth, whatever) the idea of pitching a ball of yarn. Hey it’s stitch and pitch right? And maybe, by osmosis, the catcher will suddenly take up knitting . . .

  91. Ha! My favorite expression. I say it often. Good Luck, Stephanie. As you go to throw the ball, release it when your hand is right in front of your target. (I used to play softball and pitched some, back in the days of my youth.) You’ll be fine — I’m sure you’ll do better than Mariah Carey. It didn’t look like she practiced at all.

  92. Definitely wish I could be there:
    1. To meet you and get your autograph!!!!!!
    2. For moral support – just think of all your fellow knitters there.
    3. I love knitting and baseball – just think of all the other things there that you love. (knitting and beer??).
    4. To show you the same pitch made yesterday by one of our local meterologists at our Ironpigs game yesterday (Phillies AAA team) – it would make you feel better. Granted, only about 10,000 people watching her, but she is on tv every day and still through it very wide and outside – not a good pitch at all!
    5. To admire your socks. Love, love, love the color and the pattern. Just wish I could knit that fast!!!

  93. You will be fine. Honestly, people really don’t have high expectations for the people who throw out the first pitch, unless they are a former baseball player. And sometimes they don’t reach the target. LOL. I had season tickets in Seattle for years before I moved to AZ and no one around me had high expectations of the person throwing the first pitch. Only admiration for going out and doing it.
    You are to be commended for all your efforts and preparation. Relax. If, when you get out to the mound, you don’t like the distance, shake your head, take a few steps forward, find the distance you like, and do your toss. People will CHEER for you regardless of what happens. I always did, and so did all the other people around me for EVERY first pitch tosser.
    I like your last line. You are a knitter. And honestly people will know that’s why they selected you for the honor of doing the first pitch on Stitch and Pitch night.
    I wish I could be there.

  94. What if you just smile sweetly, walk toward the catcher, toss him a pair of socks (rolled up in a ball if you like – just this once) and take his picture with them? Stephanie style. Who cares what they expect. You know what we expect.

  95. LOL! Love the McCoy quote! I love that you’re a sci-fi geek, as well as a knitter and author. I wish I could be there. You’ll be fine. I’m sure all the cosmic forces in the universe will be on your side.
    And anyway-just think-how many of those athletes can turn out a pair of socks, or a scarf, or sweater in time it takes you-and with your skill?

  96. You can do it Stephanie. Hell you can talk in front of audiences, and you can knit nupps, it all adds up.
    (Hank better be looking, I tell ya).

  97. I am absolutely positive you will do just fine. like you said you are not a pitcher you are a knitter. What ever happens will happen. Take deep breaths and you will do fine 🙂
    marafaret you are so right, not allot of athelets can knit. Anything new to anyone (even knitters) we all have had to learn and practice!

  98. I’m writing this after I’m sure you’ve left for the stadium. I took a tour of the Blue Jays’ ballpark a few years back and part of the tour was walking out on the field and even up on the pitchers mound if you wanted to. My second cousin was pitching for the Blue Jays at the time so I did walk up on the mound to see what it feels like. And man… I hate to say it but you’re right to want to puke. The stadium looks awful big and you feel awful small down there on the field. I only write this because I know you’ll read it after you’re done and can laugh about whatever happened. Good luck! I’m rooting for you and wishing I could see it live.

  99. I ment margaret, sorry my finger slipped and I type too fast for my own good anyway.. Please do not hit me over the head with a mallet or take my knitting needles away as punishment! I deeply appologize for the mispell.

  100. Stephanie,
    Wrap the ball in yarn. Or just substitute a ball of yarn. Yarn makes everything better.

  101. I saw a bunch of people lining up outside a sportsy venue downtown, but, ah, it was for a Black Eyed Peas concert at the ACC.
    I hope you enjoy yourself tonight!

  102. A “Mental McCoy” may have to go right up there with “kinnearing.” It is definitely entering my vocabulary for regular use!

  103. “Kinnearing”
    “Mental McCoy”
    and now my favorite phrase to work into as many conversations as I can:
    “no puppies will die if I don’t get it right”.

  104. I can attest to being “out there” when knitting – i can’t see getting hit by a ball at a baseball game, since so many come into the stands pretty slow and the crowd would let you know to look up. BUT I have taken more than my share of shots from a volleyball court (only during drills – I watch the games)- which come very fast, at short distance, no warning, and can leave a lovely seamed pattern when they smack the side of your face.

  105. I know it’s a bit late, but perhaps you should have asked to substitute a ball of yarn for the baseball. Less intimidating to lob a ball of yarn at someone, ya know?
    I know you were great though.

  106. Yay you!!!! Steph you are my hero whether the ball gets to the catcher or not!! You have taught me so much about knitting and dealing with life gracefully – one pitch is minor compared to all the amazing things you do each day. I am sure you were fantastic, though!!!

  107. I love it! “Pulling a McCoy” is the next cool expression after “Kinnearing.” Coming soon to a newspaper/TV station near you!
    Too bad Deforest Kelley isn’t around to appreciate it. But Shatner or Nimoy could hear about it…
    I’m sure you were stellar. Sorry I got here late.

  108. Breathe deeply three times. Have fun. If you don’t throw perfectly, wow ’em with your socks. How many fabulous pitchers can knit socks as well as you can?

  109. I love the knitter/Star Trek fan combo!
    In my family we use lot’s of Star Trek-isms. Most of my friends don’t understand it at all. Love your blogs and hope you threw a pitch to remember today – or forget – which ever you wish.

  110. Just remember that no one except the knitters and your family will be paying any attention at all. They’ll be getting to their seats, feeding their faces and waiting for the game to start.
    But of course, there’s the U=Tube thing.

  111. Just a quick question for you: How many people read your blog? I’m betting it’s a heck of a lot more than 15,000. If you can keep a blog running for more than five years, a blog that has won Best Blog in the Canadian Blog Awards 2007 AND 2008, that has managed to raise donations of over $1,000,000 for Knitters Without Borders, written at least 6 books, and oh, by the way raised three children in the process, then you can handle throwing one ball a few feet. Now, maybe that one ball won’t go to the exact spot you want it to, but like knitting, pitching isn’t always perfect. One of your greatest assets is your ability to keep on chugging, even when you don’t get gauge, even when swatches lie, and even when you have to steek. Basically, my bet is you’ll do fine – because for the past five years you have.

  112. My son has a subscription to all the MLB games so I will get to watch you throw that first pitch here in Washington. And even though the whole first pitch thing is lighhearted and ceremonial, I’m glad like you felt you had to practice for it.

  113. Wow! My husband and son are very impressed that you are throwing at the Jays game!
    Likely, it is over by now and I am sure it was all fine – no matter what happened!
    How many of those people watching you could spin 1600+ grams or knit a pair of socks – even with a few days practice?!

  114. can’t wait for the report! I’m sure there is a good story in all this, wait-there have already been a few good stories! you go, girl!!

  115. I really don’t quite get the whole Stitch and Pitch thing. It sounds cute because it rhymes. But I don’t want to sit in a base ball stadium and knit, sounds hot too. However, I know that others do want to and that is okay.
    What I really don’t get is having a famous knitter throw the first pitch. I know it’s knitting and baseball together but lets turn this around a bit. Will you have a famous ball player open up Sock Summit next year by casting on in front of thousands of attendees? Seems only fair. You could have cameras and closes ups and the ball player could practice for about a week before hand. Would be an interesting twist.
    Good luck tonight! Play Ball!

  116. You just finished spinning 1600+ grams of fiber into yarn in an astonishingly short time, all while keeping the rest of your life moving briskly and simultaneously along. Tossing a ball to someone who catches them for a living? It pales in comparison.
    Treat yourself to a Romulan ale while you watch the game.

  117. As it’s been about 24 hours and I can’t seem to find it on youtube, I’ll assume you did just fine. 😉 And congrats on the pitch, and the awesome spinning count!

  118. Woo hoo for McCoys! I’m totally deluding myself into thinking that you actually took my advice in my comment the other day. But, you know, it’s a good self delusion and it’s putting a smile on my face.
    I hope you did well tonight. Can’t wait to hear about it.
    The socks look divine.
    And I assure you, all of the puppies are ok.

  119. You definitely got the win. You threw to the catcher, which is 100% cooler than throwing to a guy in a bird costume. You did great.

  120. Those socks are quite magnificent. You really are a knitter!
    I hope it was minimally traumatic, and that lots of relieved knitting got done after the big moment!

  121. My best friend Gayle recently had to deal with a crazy big challenge and she kept saying “whatever” this and “whatever” that. Finally I said, you are trying to be all whatevery and you are not a whatevery person. But I admire that you are making the effort.
    It’s too late for tonight but I hope you were able to be all whatevery when you threw the pitch. And right after. Up til now.

  122. I hope it was fun! We had stitch n pitch here last week, and I knitted candy laces with my 8 year old goddaughter. It was a hoot. We didn’t see much baseball, but we had a good time.
    ps: candy laces were from IKEA, and not as delicious as their fragrance. But it was fun.

  123. sadly, i didn’t catch an early enough train to make it to the game for your big moment…sigh (and my 12 year old was freaking out that we missed even a single second of the game!)… but i look forward to hearing/reading all about it here tomorrow!
    i bet it felt great!

  124. Hi! Still no video on Youtube that I could find. That Dr. McCoy sure knew how to hit the nail on the head, didn’t he? I almost said “knit the nail on the head”… I hope it was fun, from the first pitch to the last out.
    Knit on!

  125. I’m betting your baseball thingy wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought it would be.
    I’d like to change the subjects because I’ve got some questions.
    1. What do you think about leg shaving? Arm pits? I’m a pretty hippity-do-da-La-Leche-League-organic-healthy-eating kinda chick but I can’t completely let go of leg shaving though I’d like to because my love doesn’t give a fig.
    2. If you could only knit with one sweater yarn for the rest of your life which would choose (assume color is unlimited, wouldn’t want to be cruel)?
    3. I have a house full of 3 small yet crazy heathens, ahem, children and can’t find a safe place to block. Any suggestions?
    I guess those are my most pressing questions right now. I look forward to your answers should you choose to respond.

  126. Seconding the Rescue Remedy mentioned earlier, if it helps: it is pickled in a bit of alcohol 🙂

  127. No youtubes up yet. Dang!
    Yep, you are a knitter – I wouldn’t follow your blog if you were a baseballer! And you have an odd nickname for a baseballer too.

  128. Since I’m a youngin’, I’d never watched Star Trek: Original Flavor. It is my fiance’s favorite thing EVER, so we’ve been watching it. By the end of the first disc of the first season, I had developed a MASSIVE crush on McCoy. So I bet you did fine last night, because damn, I forgot where I was going with this because now I’m thinking about McCoy.

  129. Just knowing that you have so many rooting for you should make you feel great, no matter what happens

  130. I just watched the hightlights of the game on youtube and was not amused that they did not include your pitch. Humph.

  131. AH, two of my favorite things in one post. Knitting and Star Trek.
    Just remember, McCoy may have said he wasn’t a (fill in the blank) but he always came through in the end and did what he had to do! So will you.
    Good luck tonight.

  132. I’m hoping your effort gets posted to YouTube since the game wasn’t shown here in the Boston area, not on our cable selection, anyhow.

  133. It’s a great old tradition in which nobody expects perfection. Whatever happens, it’ll be just fine. We’re wishing you the best!

  134. Stephanie,
    ‘Tis done! I’m sure all went well. Details anytime……Rebecca

  135. very cool… what a unique experience.
    but remember, you wouldn’t expect a MLB pitcher to pick up some some size 6 addi lace needles and crank out an intricate stole, just because someone asked him to… I would be fun to watch a stitch, though. lol

  136. Look, by the time you go to bed tonight, it will be over. Over. You never have to do it again. No matter what happens, it will be over. Just keep reminding yourself of that.
    (This line of thinking got me through law school with two babies. It works. Trust me.)

  137. Unlike singing the National Anthem of one’s respective country, throwing out the first pitch is more of a Woody Allen–90% of it is just showing up. The other 10% would be NOT hitting the pitcher below the belt, if you catch my drift! You are there as the one-and-only Yarn Harlot, and I’m certain you acquitted yourself admirably.

  138. You’re stressing about this too much. Can’t you just throw a ball of yarn instead???

  139. The only “McCoy” I know is a cowboy named Cord McCoy who rides bulls for a living (and was recently on The Amazing Race, coming in a classy second place)…I guess his job helps keep your job of tossing a baseball in perspective?

  140. Dearest Harlot — Surely you have more than 15,000 knitter-fans. We all watch what you do every time you post something to your blog. Just think of the crowd as THE BLOG in person and your usual panache will shine through.

  141. Not many baseball players can knit a sweater and adapt it for their body either. So you are even (well, except for what they get paid to pitch as opposed to what you make in the knitting world…)…so mostly even!

  142. My granddaughter won the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at tomorrow’s Western Michigan Whitecaps ball game. I can’t be there to see it, but I hope she has as much fun doing it as you did throwing out the first pitch for the Blue Jays. I don’t imagine hers will go all that straight or that far…..but she’s only 7 years old. No matter what, it will be something she too will remember forever.

  143. After reading the newer entry, (all out of order of course) I have to say:
    no puppies died!! 🙂
    grats on being recognized as a celebrity and pitched away!

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