Friday, April 14, 2006
Meissner throws out first pitch at O's-Angels
BALTIMORE -- Kimmie Meissner can do a triple axel without blinking. What really gets her nervous is throwing a baseball in front of thousands of people.
Meissner, who won the World Figure Skating Championships title last month, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Camden Yards on Friday night before the Baltimore Orioles-Los Angeles Angels game.
"This is big. It's so different," she said before walking to the mound. "Skating, I really know what I'm doing. This I don't really know."
The 16-year-old skater did it before in Philadelphia. It was not pretty.
"I got up there and threw it as hard as I could and he had to jump up and catch it," she said.
Meissner learned from the experience and practiced in her backyard in anticipation of the encore.
"I'm much better than I was," she declared. "I'm pretty confident I'll throw a strike."
The Bel Air resident received a standing ovation as she walked to the mound. She then looked in for the sign, went into a big windup and delivered a floater that John Halama caught on the fly.
Meissner thrust her arms upward in celebration as the crowd cheered.
Throwing out the first pitch at a major-league game in her native state was the latest in a series of honors that Meissner has received since her unexpected title in Calgary.
"I'm excited about a lot of things that come with it," she said. "Some of it is a little different for me, so it can be sometimes be uncomfortable. But I'm thankful for the opportunities I get. On Monday, I'm going to read to kids. That's cool. That doesn't happen very often and this doesn't, either."
After her throw, Meissner signed autographs on the stadium's main concourse.