OAKLAND – The baseball looked the same coming off Stephen Curry’s bat as a basketball does when it’s being lofted off his fingertips: It floated through the air before finding its long-distance target. The four-time NBA champion and 2022 Finals MVP took batting practice with the Oakland A’s Wednesday at the Coliseum before he and his wife Ayesha threw out the first pitch.
A’s manager Mark Kotsay had the honor of tossing out slow pitches to Curry, who attempted to pull one over the green Coliseum fence with a right-handed swing, reaching the warning track a few times.
“I grew up in an era where Magic Johnson was my childhood basketball hero, but I would put Steph in that category too,” Kotsay said.
Curry then threw out the first pitch ahead of the A’s game against the Houston Astros.
It was another summertime event in a long line of them for the future Hall of Famer, who has been seen at a celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe and at Warriors Summer League games since Curry lifted his fourth Larry O’Brien trophy.
Curry represented his Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation at the Coliseum, with around 1,000 local children getting an opportunity to enjoy the game. The foundation promotes exercise, activity and literacy to children while also combatting child hunger.
With Jed Lowrie off on a rehab assignment, Curry got his own locker in the A’s clubhouse, right next to Elvis Andrus. The A’s shortstop said he played basketball in high school, but laughed when he said he didn’t have much advice to give the two-time NBA MVP when it came to shooting.
“I am a terrible shooter,” an honest Andrus said. “But I’m a good athlete and can score around the basket.”
Vimael Machín, who was a few lockers away, had no doubt that Curry would be able to get the first pitch across the plate.
“He’s a clutch athlete, so I for sure feel like he’s gonna throw a strike,” Machin said.
Curry seemed to enjoy the pregame hoopla on the field. After getting his swings in, Curry spoke with fellow Bay Area icon and Astros manager Dusty Baker before posing for a picture. The Astros players then proceeded to line up like they were at a carnival as they waited to meet with Curry.
“To have Stephen taking batting practice on this field, it was special to see the joy in his eyes,” Eat. Learn. Play. CEO Chris Helfrich said. “He was like a kid when we were walking through the locker room.”
- A’s first baseman Seth Brown will rejoin the team in Chicago for their series against the White Sox. Brown has been away from the team on the Paternity List, and his wife Brittaney gave birth to their first child in Oregon.
- Regular closer Dany Jimenez will begin a rehab assignment in Las Vegas on Friday. Jimenez has saved 11 games this year and has a 4.38 ERA.
- Pitcher Brent Honeywell threw a 40-pitch two-up bullpen on Wednesday. Honeywell appeared in three games in 2021 for the Rays, but has not pitched for the A’s this season.
- 38-year-old Jed Lowrie went 2-3 in a rehab game with Las Vegas. He has been out since early July with a shoulder injury.