When legends collide: Jeter’s priceless pre-pitch chat with Stephen A. Smith

Former Yankee Derek Jeter

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Yankees icon Derek Jeter shared some memorable words of wisdom with ESPN’s “First Take” host Stephen A. Smith before the latter’s ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium. It was a moment that would go down in infamy, leaving Smith red-faced and the crowd booing. Here’s the inside scoop on the exchange between Jeter and Smith and the comical lead-up to the unforgettable pitch.

Derek Jeter, the legendary shortstop and Hall of Famer, is no stranger to the world of ceremonial first pitches. However, his advice to Stephen A. Smith was unique and laced with a hint of humor. As Smith prepared to take the mound at Yankee Stadium for the first pitch, he couldn’t resist seeking guidance from the iconic Jeter, who had famously counseled former President George W. Bush before his memorable pitch at the 2001 World Series.

Smith’s candid conversation

The New York Yankees, Stephen Smith

Sporting Jeter’s jersey, Smith engaged in a candid conversation with the Yankees’ beloved former captain. With a grin, Smith recounted, “I spoke to Derek Jeter before I threw the pitch because I was wearing his jersey. That’s my all-time favorite Yankee. El Capitán, that’s what I call him. And he was like, ‘Don’t f— this up, man.’” The humor in Jeter’s words was apparent, setting the tone for the upcoming spectacle.

Before he knew it, Smith found himself on the pitcher’s mound, fully aware of the enormity of the task ahead. His lack of baseball experience since his junior high school days and his choice of footwear added to the hilarity of the situation. Smith quipped, “I’m wearing sneakers, I don’t have on cleats, and I’m wearing my white Christian Louboutin sneakers with red bottoms, alright Buster? I step foot on the dirt and it’s slippery. That’s the first thing I noticed. And I know that the mound is only 10 inches off the surface, but it felt like 30. Then I turned around and looked at home plate and I said, ‘Oh my God. What have I done?’ That plate looked like a mile away.”

As Smith unleashed his pitch, the result was nothing short of comical. A feeble 50-foot lob that one-hopped its way to the catcher left Smith wearing an embarrassed smirk. He had inadvertently created a memorable “walk of shame” moment in front of the Yankees faithful, who showered him with a chorus of boos.

Smith’s colleagues’ reaction

Smith’s colleagues didn’t miss a beat in offering their assessments of the throw. Shannon Sharpe, known for his sharp-tongued critiques, didn’t mince words, calling the pitch “disgraceful.” It was a moment of levity in an otherwise intense sports world, providing fans and viewers with a good-natured laugh at Smith’s expense.

In the end, Stephen A. Smith’s ceremonial first pitch may have been far from perfect, but it added a touch of humor and humility to the baseball world. With Derek Jeter’s playful advice ringing in his ears, Smith provided fans with a memorable and entertaining moment on the hallowed grounds of Yankee Stadium.

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