Jimmy Anderson outclasses Conor McGregor as England cricket star delivers ceremonial first pitch at MLB London Series

Jimmy Anderson certainly did a lot better than Conor McGregor as the English cricket star delivered a perfect first pitch to open the 2023 London Series.

The UFC icon may have once switched the octagon for the boxing ring, but it’s clear baseball is not his game, with his ceremonial throw making history as one of the worst ever seen at a ballpark.


England and Australian cricket stars Jimmy Anderson and Nathan Lyon combined to get the 2023 MLB London Series underwayCredit: Getty
McGregor's effort for the Cubs in 2021 wasn't so successful


McGregor’s effort for the Cubs in 2021 wasn’t so successfulCredit: getty
But the former UFC two-division champion was able to see the funny side


But the former UFC two-division champion was able to see the funny sideCredit: Getty

And, to be fair, Anderson throws a ball for a living, so it was unlikely he was going to miss as badly as ‘the Notorious’ Irishman.

McGregor was chosen as the famous face to open the Chicago Cubs’ home game against Minnesota Twins at Wrigley Field in 2021.

He looked as confident as ever as he stepped up to the mound, only to leave it red-faced after sending a wild throw embarrassingly wide of the catcher’s mitt.

Of course, when he was asked how it went afterwards, the Irishman said: “The most devastating first pitch ever seen in the iconic Wrigley Field!”

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Anderson had a lot to live up to then when he was asked, alongside Ashes rival and Australia bowler Nathan Lyon, to do the honours as the Cubs took on St Louis Cardinals in the second ever MLB London Series.

With just days until the start of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, with the Aussies 1-0 up after a thrilling first Test, they were at West Ham’s newly transformed London Stadium to get the action underway in the traditional ceremonial first pitch.

Usually done by a celebrity name, Tottenham striker Harry Kane, McGregor and Cubs-mad legendary actor Bill Murray have all thrown first pitches for the Chicago side.

This time it was Anderson, decked out in Cubs blue, while Lyon wore the red of the Cardinals, as they performed a synchronised pitch in front of a packed crowd in the capital.

Asked if he’d practised ahead of his big moment on the diamond, he told media: “I feel a little bit under prepared.

“I’m very nervous, I just want to make sure it’s better than Nathan’s – that’s the main thing.

“I’m just going to throw it as hard as I can, shut my eyes and pray.

“I’m certainly not going to bowl it! There’s more chance of it being on target if I just throw it.”

Asked by talkSPORT if he’d seen McGregor’s ironically bad effort, Anderson said: “I’ve just spent five hours in the car down from Manchester and my daughter showed me the ten worst pitches of all time.

“So that filled me with confidence!

England legend Anderson's throw was pitch-perfect, with Aussie star Lyon's a little off


England legend Anderson’s throw was pitch-perfect, with Aussie star Lyon’s a little offCredit: Getty

“As long as I don’t end up in a video like that, I’ll be happy!”

He needn’t have worried.

To be fair, he and Lyon literally get paid to throw balls at people, so having a McGregor moment was never going to happen.

And, sure enough, and despite both cricketers admitting they hadn’t picked up a ball of any kind since the end of the first Test, they didn’t let themselves or their countries down as their throws were arrowed straight into the catchers’ gloves.

Well, Anderson’s was – Lyon’s was actually a little bit wide.

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England will be hoping that continues when Ashes action returns on June 28.

Fans can keep up to date with the latest information about the MLB London Series here.

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