Starting times for four of the games were adjusted to make Ferrell’s barnstorming tour possible.
Memorabilia collected during Ferrell’s tour will be auctioned off at MLB.com, with proceeds going to College of Cancer and Stand Up to Cancer, according to HBO.
“Will is a big fan of our game,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement, “and many of us in baseball — among our clubs, players and our millions of fans — are big fans of his. Major League Baseball is happy to take part in what will surely be a fun and memorable day for a great cause.”
Ferrell is to appear in the following games: Seattle Mariners-Oakland Athletics to start at 12:05 p.m. PDT; Chicago Cubs-Los Angeles Angels at 1:10 p.m.; Cincinnati Reds-Arizona Diamondbacks at 2:10 p.m., San Francisco Giants-Chicago White Sox at 4:05 p.m.; and Los Angeles Dodgers-San Diego Padres at 6:15 p.m.
“This latest collaboration is one of those things only Will could pull off,” Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president for programming, said in a news release. “I can’t wait to see him take the field.”
This is not Ferrell’s first foray into the game.
In 2012, he and Zach Galifianakis, promoting their movie “The Campaign,” threw out the first pitch at a Chicago Cubs game.
And in 2010, he pitched — sort of — for Houston’s Triple-A club, the Round Rock Express, in a game against Nashville. Wearing a mustache in the guise of “Rojo Johnson,” a temperamental Venezuelan player, he threw one pitch behind a batter and was ejected. He ripped off the mustache as he left the field.
“Nashville’s got good stuff,” he said afterward. “They’ve got a lot of moxie.”
It gives a hint of what Major League Baseball is in for on Thursday.
He also wore purple cleats last year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is October, but did not receive fines. NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala noted that the cleats Gay wore are the official team cleats for the Minnesota Vikings, but it’s a violation for a Steeler to wear them as part of his uniform.
“I think we all know why I wore the purple cleats,” Gay told ESPN. He says he won’t appeal the fine.
Then, the Jazz put together an in-arena video prior to introducing Bryant one last time, and the video captured the essence of rooting against a player that would simply not be denied. The tribute featured Utah Jazz fans sharing their admiration for the NBA superstar in his 20th and final season.
At one point, a fan shares that he grew up wearing his John Stockton jersey practicing his “Kobe fadeaway” in his driveway. Another fan likened Bryant to the Joker character in Batman, as played by Heath Ledger.