Over the years, as VCU Basketball has gained steam, so too have requests to have Rams throw out first pitches at baseball games. I’m still waiting on first puck drop calls. I know a spike is coming soon. Anyway, here we examine each Rams’ performance on the diamond.

Shaka Smart (Chicago Cubs, 2011)

Shaka Smart isn’t a large man by any means, but that didn’t stop guys like Billy Wagner from bringing the heat. Unfortunately for Smart, it kind of did. No matter, Smart has pretty good form here as he paints the inside corner. Good snap on the arm. I think he’s falling away to the left a bit, but that’s something the coaching staff can correct during side sessions.
Bonus/demerits: Bonuses for throwing from the rubber, throwing to a VCU guy (Sean Marshall), being at Wrigley Field, the custom jersey (is he wearing No. 91? Channeling Dennis Rodman?), and singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”



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After six seasons with the Chicago Cubs, former VCU pitcher Sean Marshall was traded to the Cincinnati Reds this winter.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It’s been a couple years since I had a chance to check in with former VCU pitcher Sean Marshall, currently a member of the Cincinnati Reds. He’s always gracious and much has changed since the last time we last spoke, in August of 2010.

The biggest difference in Marshall since our last meeting wasn’t his uniform, even though he spent his first six Major League seasons as a member of the Chicago Cubs. It wasn’t his new role as Reds’ closer, although that’s sure to cast a new light on the career of one of baseball’s best relievers.

The biggest change in the 29-year-old Marshall is much more subtle. You might not even catch it. When discussing his career, Marshall says “we” and “us” now, much more than he does “I” or “me”. It’s not that he was selfish before – anything but, in fact. But he’s speaking for Team Marshall now, as opposed to just for himself for even for his new club, the Reds.

Marshall and his wife Sarah were married in December of 2010 – by Mr. Cub Ernie Banks, by the way – and the couple welcomed their first child, a son named Brody, last June. Those kinds of changes are much more dramatic than switching the color of your stirrups.


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