Manziel, Gilbert to throw out first pitches

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel will trade in the orange and brown for some red, white and blue jerseys and baseball hats as he and cornerback Justin Gilbert will throw out the ceremonial first pitches at the Cleveland Indians' game against the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night.

For Manziel, it will be the third time he's thrown out the first pitch, as he did it once at Texas A&M and once for the San Diego Padres.

"It's great, tonight, to get to go to the Indians game for the first time," Manziel said. "This is my third time being able to do it and it's a great honor. Football's obviously a little bit different than baseball, but I should have it figured out by now."

Gilbert added, "I used to play baseball back in my day, so I've thrown a couple 12-6 curveballs. I don't know how good I am now. I was pretty good back then, but I might be a little rusty, so I might just float it in there."

Gilbert plans to practice before taking the hill, so that he does not repeat the wide-of-the-batter's-box throw rapper/entertainer Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson threw at a recent New York Mets game.

"I had a baseball in my hand yesterday," Gilbert said with a laugh. "As long as we get to warm up because if I just go out there and grab a baseball and throw it right away, then, I might end up like 50 Cent.

"I changed it to a slider today. It might be a four-seam fastball because they were telling me that I might not reach the plate. I want to make sure I reach the plate. I don't want to get embarrassed."

Gilbert and Manziel are just the latest Browns to throw out the ceremonial first pitch this week, as running back Ben Tate tossed out the ceremonial pitch prior to Tuesday's 5-3 Indians win over the Red Sox.

Tate, a free-agent signee of the Browns, shared the experience with 44 of his followers on Twitter, which is representative of his jersey number. After the announcement that he would throw out the first pitch, Tate bought tickets to the game to treat the fans to a night at Progressive Field.

"I'm not a big baseball guy, but I will be there tonight to check out the game, so I figured, why not just invite some fans and give out 44 tickets," Tate said prior to the first pitch. "It's something nice to do for the community, so why not do it?"


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