SE: Tom Hanks picks Wilson from ‘Cast Away’ for first pitch at Cleveland Guardian’s home opener

USATSI

Actor Tom Hanks was tasked with throwing the first pitch for the Cleveland Guardians home opener against the San Francisco Giants on Friday. He decided he would not do it alone.

Hanks brought along a prop from the 2000 film Cast Away, in which he starred as a FedEx director ending up on a desert island. “Wilson,” a volleyball he found in one of the packages, became his only companion in the film.

The ball is quite recognizable as it has an iconic handprint with a face. Since the match was played in Cleveland, there was also a letter “C” on the opposite side of the face. The fans in the stadium started cheering in recognition as Hanks lifted Wilson up so everyone could see. He put the ball down next time to him as he got ready to throw the pitch, but his teammate had other plans.

Wilson began to move away from the mound. Hanks brought it back and tried to speak some sense into it, but Wilson continued to move away again and then made a loop before returning to Hanks’ side.

“Wilson has his own mind,” said one commentator. “Maybe it’s remote control.”

Whether it was remote control, wind or Wilson’s own power, the audience was certainly entertained.

Hanks threw the pitch, a little too far to the left, as Wilson crossed in front of him. Baseball was captured by Larry Doby Jr., whose father broke the American League color barrier 75 years ago with Cleveland. Hanks was wearing jersey No. 14, the same number as Doby Sr. bar at the time.

The actor was born in California, but started his career studying theater in Cleveland. Hanks was an intern at the Great Lakes Festival in the 1970s, and that was when his love of Cleveland baseball began.

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