The ACC is joining the Big Ten in the Pinstripe Bowl starting in the 2014 season. The partnership with the two conferences and the New York Yankees makes a lot of sense and should see a somewhat more promising future than the game's previous deals with the Big East and Big 12. With both conferences using conference realignment to push more in to the north and/or east, having a destination for the postseason to collide seemed so natural for everybody.
To celebrate the conference's latest bowl contract for the College Football Playoff era, ACC commissioner John Swofford was asked to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at a New York Yankees home game at the site of the Pinstripe Bowl, Yankee Stadium.
Swofford's first pitch is a far cry from the first pitch honors we have seen from Heisman Trophy quarterback Johnny Manziel but he may have managed to avoid complete embarrassment on a Denard Robinson level. Swofford suited up appropriately with a Yankees cap and a personalized Yankees jersey donning his name (if you can get past the notion that a Yankees jersey has a name printed on the back) with the number 14. The number 14, of course, could represent a couple things, such as the 2014 season marking the beginning of the new contract with the Pinstripe Bowl, but we'll just assume it represents the conference's membership total starting this season. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are joining the conference to bump that membership up to 14, a number that will stick next year with Maryland being replaced by Louisville.
And who doesn't want to see that eventual epic Louisville vs. Maryland Pinstripe Bowl?
As for the pitch itself, Swofford chose to deliver his pitch from about midway between the pitcher's mound and home plate, but we'll give him a mild pass due to his age and likely arm strength. It's not as though Swofford has been training with Roger Clemens or Alex Rodriguez after all (alleged PHD use jokes!), right? The pitch still managed to to be a ball, with a hanging curve ball crossing on the outside of the plate.