For one night, Najee Harris traded in his football helmet for the pitcher’s mound. A Bay Area native, he was invited and threw out the first pitch at Friday’s Oakland Athletics game against the Houston Astros. Take a look at Harris firing one to home plate, and having a little fun in the process.
Things got real serious on the mound and Harris got into form, called for a fastball, but went a bit more off-speed on the actual pitch. We’ll give him a generous strike zone and say it caught the outside corner.
As you can see, the A’s gave him his own Harris jersey to wear, too. He was the theme of the A’s social media coverage throughout the night, shouting out the crowd.
And it looks like he got a tour before throwing out the first pitch, too.
A great night for Harris. Less so for the Athletics. When you enter a contest 10-42 like Oakland is with a new stadium that’s about to move the team out of the state, you gotta find something to cheer for.
Though entering just his third year, Harris has begun to build a brand and become a recognizable face in football. A strong 2023 season in Pittsburgh will help further that and with an improved offensive line, Harris could become the first running back in a decade to rush for 1000+ yards in each of his first three seasons.
As of this writing, the Athletics trail the Astros 5-2. Entering Friday, the team was on an eight-game losing streak with only four wins during the month of May. At least Harris is a bright spot to the crowd on hand and give them something to cheer for. There won’t be many more chances for A’s fans to do it. It’s worth mentioning the MLB owners still have to approve their Nevada move but given the state of the franchise, it’s likely to occur.