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Redford to throw out first pitch at opener

3/25/2011

Robert Redford, who played Roy Hobbs in the iconic baseball film "The Natural," will throw out the first pitch at the Chicago Cubs' season opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 1 at Wrigley Field.

The Academy Award-winning director, who will be in Chicago promoting his film "The Conspirator," doesn't have much of a tie to the Cubs, but he considers himself a lifelong baseball fan. Redford, who was a high school teammate of Hall of Fame pitcher and former White Sox broadcaster Don Drysdale, earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Colorado as a pitcher.

Redford starred in the 1984 film "The Natural," playing Roy Hobbs, a slugger for the fictitious Brooklyn Knights, who hit a game-winning home run in the ninth inning that shatters the scoreboard clock at Wrigley Field. The scene was actually filmed in Buffalo.

In other Opening Day festivities, Ron Santo Jr. will lead the crowd in the singing of the seventh-inning stretch, honoring his father who died in December from complications from bladder cancer at age 70. The Cubs will wear a patch with Santo's No. 10 all season, and the Cubs will dedicate a statue in his honor on Aug. 10.