Preaching to the fans in the stands at the ballpark in Auburn, NY didn't make me nervous at all. Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch was another story.
Friends who were with me asked if the ball would make it to the plate. I assured them it would. Then, when my name was announced and I made my way to the mound, I was sure that I'd trip and fall or do something embarrassing.
I gripped the ball (as shown by countless pitchers over the years), began my windup, released the ball and watched it hit the dirt right in front of the catcher. The Auburn Doubledays' GM, in an effort to heal my wounds, assured me that if he were a batter and I had thrown that same pitch, he would have taken a swing at it.
Anyway, I thought I better take advantage of the opportunity for a fleeting moment of fame. I've wanted to throw out the first pitch for years but was never asked. Now I know why. My fleeting moment of fame? The catcher walked out to hand me the ball, never looked me in the eye, didn't sign his autograph, walked away chuckling and muttering something about my lack of control.
Oh well, I'll do better the next time they ask me...in heaven.