SportsCenter

ICYMI: The Week on Front Row; PLUS SportsCenter’s Sara Walsh delivers the first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays game

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Be careful what you Tweet for.

“Sara had Tweeted that one of her dreams was to throw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to a Rays game, so I responded and invited her to do just that,” said Jonathan Gantt, Senior Coordinator, Communications for the Tampa Bay Rays.

SportsCenter anchor Sara Walsh shared that dream in accepting a challenge from some of her Twitter fans, leading to her appearance on the Tropicana Field mound Wednesday night.

“We do lots of bad ‘First Pitches’ for the Not Top Ten, and it started on air when I was running my mouth saying I could get the ball there,” Walsh explained. “Folks on Twitter started saying I needed to throw out a first pitch, and were offering up suggestions of where I should do it, so I responded that I was waiting for my hometown Rays to do it.”

The Tampa area native got her wish.

“It was a really cool moment — incredible to be back in my hometown with a lot of friends and family there,” she said. “I probably would have been a lot less nervous except I knew the pitch would make it on SportsCenter, most notably if it was really bad.

“I swear the strikes were coming much easier in warm ups with [Rays pitcher] David Price, who I covered in Nashville when he was playing for Vanderbilt and I was at the local ABC affiliate there, so I’m bummed my pitch was high and outside. I’ve got no excuse for that, but I stand by my statement that if you’re an athlete, you can’t bounce it! And Price said if I had a pitch count of 100, I would have been right down the middle. Unfortunately, my pitch count was one.”

ICYMI: Highlights from the past week on Front Row

• In preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, ESPN has done some redecorating at the Bristol campus, most notably adding a new wall detailing the soccer event’s rich history.

• ESPN Content Associate Gavin Cote spends countless hours creating Miami Heat highlight packages for SportsCenter. He shared how he stays on top of the Heat action, despite his personal allegiance to the Boston Celtics.

• A “Lineup” of 11 things you don’t see at home from ABC’s NBA Finals coverage including production trucks, cameras and more.

Cari Champion and the First Take crew have taken their show on the road for NBA Finals. Champion shared details of the experience so far.

Row of Four
Our favorites from across ESPN over the past week

Bruce Irons talks about big waves, big wins, the loss of his brother and his Bali return

• Friday Funnies: Funny moments in sports captured from the past week

• espnW’s Brant James: Danica Patrick’s father, T.J., first instilled in her the notion she was a driver — not a girl driver

• Enjoy an array of photos from ESPN Images

Dan Quinn contributed to this post

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