The Cleveland Guardians could’ve won 100-0 but it still would’ve been the Tom Hanks Show.
It was a rough Friday night for Cleveland fans, the Cavaliers got blitzed, the Guardians loss their home opener, and it was really windy. Like, really windy. The Cavaliers losing was easily the worst part of the night, as they’ll not be in the playoffs and thereby extending their streak of non-playoff seasons without LeBron James, but the Guardians getting three-hit wasn’t exactly a good thing either. Thank god Tom Hanks was there.
Hanks was in town to throw out the first pitch, and it wasn’t just Hanks who came with. In tow was his best friend and co-star of one of his biggest films ever in Castaway, the iconic Wilson. Yes, that Wilson.
After getting on the mound, Hanks watched Wilson roll away, with Hanks predictably screaming after him as he left. Then Hanks threw a respectable first pitch for a 60-year-old actor.
Tom Hanks pulled double duty for the Cleveland Guardians
Hanks, who started his acting career in Cleveland, is a long-time Cleveland baseball fan. So it was a great treat to have Hanks in the broadcast booth with both the radio and television crews. While I can’t find a video/audio of Hanks with the radio guys, I will say that I’ve listened to both and I think the radio side of things was much more entertaining.
Hanks was a true professional during the radio side of things, with him prioritizing the pitches over the conversation, which was a neat little thing. Then they had Hanks read one of the commercial prompts which was not something I thought I’d ever hear. He even got hyped up by talking about the daily contestant the Guardians select to possibly win new tires. It didn’t end up happening but listening to Hanks riff about how they could maybe “give her the contents of the glove box” was highly entertaining.
His conversation about his time on the set of A League of Their Own really highlighted his love of baseball, with him quipping that he would do everything possible to get the first and the last lines of a scene, so he could spend the rest of the shoot fielding ground balls while everyone else worked.
Hanks had a real future in radio if this acting thing doesn’t pan out.