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For weeks now (months? years?) Ricky Viola has been asking -- make that demanding -- that he be given an opportunity to pitch in 24 Hours of Baseball. Despite the fact that we will be playing for 24 straight hours, and are desperate for arms, most people here (all of us) don't want Ricky anywhere near the pitcher's mound.
Why? Well, among other reasons (too long to list), in a recent game against a 65-and-over team, he delivered an inside (and by "inside," we mean behind the batter) fastball (and by "fastball," we mean 45-MPH unintentional eephus) that, according to battery mate Steve Cohen, "almost went into the opposing team's dugout."
But, to be fair, we decided to give Ricky another shot. A tryout. An opportunity to redeem himself. A chance to get back on the hill.
He got 10 pitches from the mound at KeySpan Park, and had to hit the agreed-upon target at home plate with seven of them in order to secure a spot in the 24 Hours rotation.
Best of all, we captured it on film, so you can watch Ricky's tryout on Brooklyn Cyclones TV! (Spoiler alert: It did not go well.)
Take a look and let us know if you think we should (ever) let him on the field again!
And please don't forget to make a donation to 24 Hours of Baseball! We'll be fighting sleep, hunger, dehydration, and rational judgment on June 6th and 7th as we play baseball for 24 straight hours against 12 teams in an effort to raise money for Autism Speaks, HeartShare, and the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation.
Every dollar makes a difference, and we truly appreciate your support!