University, campus leaders make the pitch for Flames

Chancellor Amiridis & baseball team

Chancellor Michael Amiridis celebrates baseball coach Mike Dee’s 500th win March 21. Amiridis will throw the first pitch at the UIC Flames baseball game Friday. Provost Ric Gislason is up Thursday.

Leaders of UIC and the University of Illinois have never thrown the first pitch at a Flames baseball game, but that will change this month.

On Thursday, the ceremonial pitch will come from Eric Gislason, interim provost and former interim chancellor. The next day’s hurler will be UIC’s new chancellor, Michael Amiridis. And April 24, the first pitch will fly from the hand of Timothy Killeen, the University of Illinois’ new president.

All three games begin at 6 p.m. at UIC’s Granderson Stadium.

Will they throw from the mound, or from closer in?

“It’s personal preference,” said John Flood, the team’s pitching coach.“You like to see people toe the rubber and throw the full 60-feet-6-inches, but there are some who throw from in front of the mound.”

Some first-pitch pitchers, especially those who aren’t former players, will loosen up with a few practice tosses. “But most will just get out there and see what happens,” Flood said.

At Friday’s game, packets of Big League Chew will be given to the first 200 UIC students. It’s gum, not tobacco.

Amiridis will also throw out the first pitch at the softball team’s April 18 game.

Admission to all games is free to UIC students with i-card. Baseball admission is $7 or $10 for others, 18 and under free. Tickets are available at the stadium starting an hour before the game.

Follow Chancellor Michael Amiridis on Instagram @UICAmiridis.

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