Though he has lived in Los Angeles since 1992, Freddie Roach has never been to Dodger Stadium. But that Ripkenesque 20-year streak comprising over 3,000 games will end tomorrow night when Roach takes the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, at approximately 6:57 p.m. PT, before the Dodgers battle the Milwaukee Brewers.
Roach, a five-time Trainer of the Year, and the star of the critically-acclaimed HBO Series “On Freddie Roach,” will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on June 10. He is currently training eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao for his WBO welterweight defense against undefeated world champion Timothy Bradley, Jr. at his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood. Pacquiao-Bradley will take place on Saturday June 9 at the MGM Grand and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Roach’s bigger claim to fame was his four-year Little League career as a star second baseman for the Dedham Falcons. Though he has outgrown his Falcons uniform Roach claims the ceremonial pitching duty will fit him like a glove.
“I’ve been warming up in the parking lot all week. Throwing every morning and evening and icing down my arm at night,” said Roach. “The speed gun measured my heater at just 10 miles per hour under Jamie Moyer. I’m working a little harder on my control. As of now, it could be a pitch to catcher A.J. Ellis or a pickoff to first baseman James Loney. Who knows? And to the fans sitting in the front row, I offer this – PROTECT YOURSELF AT ALL TIMES! I’m going to throw the hard cheese, baby!”
Let’s just hope it’s not Limburger!