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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Colt McCoy uncorks strong effort during Arlington first pitch

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Colt McCoy got a chance to fulfill a childhood dream over the holiday weekend.

McCoy threw out the first pitch for Monday's Texas Rangers-New York Yankees game at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

It was hard for McCoy to turn down the opportunity, considering he had a poster of Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan on his wall when he was a boy. He got a chance to meet Ryan after the pitch, according to T.R. Sullivan of the blog Postcards from Elysian Fields.

"(Ryan) critiqued me a little after it," McCoy told Postcards. "It was pretty special. Growing up, I wanted to be a pitcher."

Baseball one of the few sports that McCoy didn't participate in at Jim Ned High School in Tuscola, Texas. He instead played basketball and ran track along with his football career.

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez offered some advice to McCoy over the phone: don't bounce it. McCoy avoided that, taking a few steps back as he does behind center and throwing the pitch a little high but over the plate.

McCoy told WFAA.com that he had a few nerves before his first pitch. He took a three-step drop before rifling the ball at home plate.

"I can go out there and play in front of 100,000 and be just fine," McCoy told WFAA.com. "It's a different place throwing a baseball instead of a football. It was a little nerve-racking."

It was certainly a better toss than the one that actor Mr. T. threw later in the day at Wrigley Field in Chicago for the Cubs-Pittsburgh game.

Longhorns coach Mack Brown, who threw the first pitch at the Rangers Opening Day game in 2006, told his quarterback to just enjoy the moment.

"That pitch is by far the hardest," McCoy said. "It was completely different from throwing a football. It was a great experience and real fun."

The rivalry between the Longhorns and the rest of the Big 12 spilled over when McCoy was introduced. He received a smattering of boos -- but nothing like those when Ranger fans heckled former Ranger player Alex Rodriguez later in the game.

McCoy hopes he can return to Arlington on Dec. 5 to nearby Cowboys Stadium. If he can do that, he would lead his first Texas team to the Big 12 title game -- a feat he has yet to accomplish during his college career.