Will his name be mud? Armstrong throws out first pitch

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ABC11's Mark Armstrong tosses the first pitch at the Mudcats game on Sunday.

It was all good, no nerves at all until I cocked my arm back ... and suddenly everything felt unfamiliar. I could feel my arm muscles tightening, my vision clouding. Optimism was replaced by dread.

I've never played an inning of organized baseball and had certainly never thrown a first pitch before, but that wasn't going to stop me from jumping at the chance when the Carolina Mudcats offered me the opportunity to toss out their first pitch on Sunday.

Couldn't be any tougher than winding the Hurricanes' storm siren, I figured (tougher than it looks by the way - serious arm fatigue). My kids were pumped about it too - so that made us all extra excited as we headed out to Five County Stadium.

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Both my older boys had agreed to join me on the mound. I figured seeing my twins would have a twin influence on me. Their little smiling faces would make it impossible to get too nervous, but the notion of throwing a bad pitch in front of them would keep me focused on the job at hand, namely, delivering a strike to home plate.

I had casually strolled out to the mound minutes earlier just to get the visual down, so I'd be used to that when the big moment came. No warmup pitches, though.

Mudcats manager Joe Ayrault had given me simple advice: "Just rear back and try to throw it right through the catchers head," he said.

I liked it, so that was the plan. No looping toss. I was gonna pitch it in there. And from the mound too, none of this in-front-of-the-mound nonsense.

Anyway - long story short - here's how it went:

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