Make no mistake: football ability got Greg Newsome II invited to Wednesday night's White Sox game, but the former Northwestern cornerback says he was no slouch on the youth baseball field, either.
"I would say I’m amazing if it’s me," Newsome II joked when asked to describe his baseball ability.
In late April, the Glenbard North product was picked in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. The Sox took notice and invited him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch this week, and Newsome II immediately said yes.
Considering there's a growing list of celebrities who've embarrassed themselves throwing out the first pitch, most people would feel some nerves before getting on the mound in front of thousands of fans. But not Newsome II. In fact, he felt so confident he'd fire it over the plate that he didn't practice once at home despite pleas from his girlfriend Veronica.
"She’s actually been mad at me because I wasn’t practicing at all, and I told her I don’t need to practice, so we’ll see," Newsome II said. "I just want to show her I didn’t really need to practice throwing."
In the end, he delivered on his promise, firing a high fastball over the plate.
"It was a seven out of 10," Newsome II said. "It was a little high. Probably would have gotten a ball on that one. I was looking for a strike, but it’ll do."
Before he headed back to join his family in a suite, the NFL rookie took a few seconds to reflect on a moment he'll remember for a long time.
"It felt amazing," said Newsome II. "I’m a kid from the South Side. Had to get out for football reasons, but to come back home and throw the first pitch at a Sox game is just amazing."