Prince Harry throws out first pitch

Updated: June 26, 2010, 6:53 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Britain's Prince Harry has a pretty good arm.

Harry threw the ceremonial first pitch with a bit of zip before the Mets played the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, the second day of his visit to New York.

"He did well," said Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who tutored Harry for a few minutes before his pitch.

[+] EnlargePrince Harry
AP Photo/Paul J. BereswillPrince Harry made a hard, accurate throw that was a little high, forcing catcher Rod Barajas to stand from his crouch to make the catch of the pitch that crossed the plate.

Without much fanfare, Harry walked to the mound when the Mets ran onto the field before the first inning and received polite applause from the Citi Field crowd. He was wearing a blue Mets cap and a white T-shirt with "walking with the wounded" written on the front in red lettering. The Mets had made him a pinstriped jersey with "Wales" and the number 22 on the back.

The 25-year-old prince is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Harry, third in line to the British throne, will walk with wounded veterans participating in a road race through Central Park on Sunday.

Standing on the pitching rubber, Harry sheepishly waved to the crowd before shaking his right arm several times and doing a full body jiggle to loosen up. He then made a hard, accurate throw that was a little high, forcing catcher Rod Barajas to stand from his crouch to make the catch of the pitch that crossed the plate.

Dickey spent about five minutes with Harry before the game helping him with his mechanics. He said the prince was throwing with a more straight-armed cricket throw so he told him to bend his elbow.

"We didn't talk about Parliament or anything," Dickey said. "We're just two guys having a catch."

Outfielder Jeff Francoeur had a chance to talk World Cup soccer with Harry before the game.

"I told him [the Americans] won Group C," Francoeur said. "He said, he'll have the last laugh."

The United States was eliminated from the World Cup after a 2-1 loss to Ghana on Saturday. England will play Germany on Sunday.

A lieutenant in the British Army, Harry spent several innings in a luxury suite with Mets owner Fred Wilpon, the founder of Welcome Back Veterans, a charity which provides support and treatment for soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder.

Earlier Saturday, Harry toured a UNICEF operations center.

On Sunday, Harry is scheduled to participate in a sporting event he is more familiar with: a polo match.

The third annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governors Island, in New York Harbor, will benefit American Friends of Sentebale, the U.S. arm of the global charity co-founded by Harry.

Sentebale provides support to orphans and at-risk children in Lesotho, an impoverished African nation whose inhabitants have one of the shortest average life expectancies in the world.

Harry was to promote his charity at a reception at a country club in Greenwich, Conn., later Saturday.

On Friday, Harry showed off his aim on the firing range at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he participated in training exercises with cadets. The activities included shooting an M4 rifle.

Harry served in Afghanistan in 2008 as a battlefield air controller until a media leak cut his time short.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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