Fran McCaffery was a wild one as a youngster. At least when he tried to pitch.
Now the Iowa basketball coach will be back on the mound Friday, throwing out the first pitch before the Chicago Cubs-San Francisco Giants game at Wrigley Field.
McCaffery’s pitching career ended in the eighth grade.
“I used to hit batters,” said McCaffery, a lifelong Philadelphia Phillies fan. “I threw amazingly hard. That’s why they used me. But after awhile they said, “We just can’t put this guy out there anymore. He either walks you or hits you.’ They brought me in once with the bases lo
aded and I hit a guy on the first pitch. No control.”
McCaffery will be joined by his wife, Margaret, and their four children in Chicago this weekend. They’ll also attend the Iowa-Northern Illinois football game at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday.
McCaffery said he’ll don a Cubs hat and a Hawkeye shirt when he takes the mound before Friday’s 1:20 p.m. game. He’s been playing catch with his sons, Connor and Patrick, to get ready. Both his sons are baseball players.
“I’ve played a lot of catch this summer with my boys,” McCaffery said. “So my arm is loosened up. But this will be a little bit of a different atmosphere. And a little bit further. And I’ll be throwing to a catcher.”
Former Iowa and Chicago Bulls player Bobby Hansen will sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. Hansen played on the Bulls’ 1992 NBA Championship team.
“My wife (Mary) has been kidding me a lot about it,” Hansen said. “She’s showing me how to do it.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball