Kelly’s Perfect Pitch

Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles. Photo: Coté

Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles. Photo: Coté

Kelly Slater Throws The First Pitch At Dodger Stadium

Many of you probably don’t know how gnarly I am at baseball. I could have gone pro with my hyper-speed sidewinders and my all-heat-no-meat curveball sliders. Instead of making the leap to the “bigs”, I decided working at TransWorld SURF would be a better career move.

Kelly's pitching coach Chris Coté.

Kelly's pitching coach Chris Coté.

I never really let the surf world know how gnarly I was on the baseball diamond, and I wanted to keep it that way. That is until a friend in need called me wanting my help. A few weeks ago Kelly Slater was called up to throw the first pitch at the LA Dodgers/San Diego Padre game at Dodger stadium. He agreed to throw the pitch, but when he hung up the phone, he was in tears, Kelly, the 9-time World Champ knew his way around a tube, but not a pitchers mound. Kelly hadn’t thrown a ball since little league, and the last time he did, he was heckled, and called a “belly-itcher” the worst thing you can call someone who is trying to be a pitcher.

Anyway, I trained Kelly for two weeks, we threw balls into the night, we lifted weights, we hit tires with sledgehammers, and we slapped each other’s butts after hard workouts. The day had come, I was confident Kelly Slater would be a “pitcher”, and not a “belly itcher”.

Kelly gets some pointers from Dodgers catcher AJ Ellis. Photo: Coté

Kelly gets some pointers from Dodgers catcher AJ Ellis. Photo: Coté

When he took to the field, the crowd roared. Confidently, he threw a blazing hot 85-mile an hour slider right into the no fly zone, aka—the strike zone. Kelly threw heat, and I was proud. Good job Kelly, good job…—Chris Cote

Kelly's heater was right down the pipe... Photo: Coté

Thanks to some great coaching, Kelly's heater was right down the pipe... Photo: Coté