Masaharu Morimoto is now part of an exclusive club.
The Iron Chef joins Carl Lewis, Mariah Carey and Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory on the list of people to fail when throwing out the first pitch. Hey, I didn't say it was a desirable club.
Morimoto was given the honor Tuesday night before the Mets-Phillies game. The errant toss could be forgiven if the famed chef didn't have a background in the sport. Morimoto played minor league baseball in Japan and was headed for a professional career as a catcher before a shoulder injury derailed his plans.
Maybe that ailment has lingered and that's what caused him to send the first pitch far above the Phillie Phanatic's head and into the backstop. If Morimoto is looking to pass the buck, he can certainly put some responsibility on Charlie Manuel. The Phillies skipper put him up to the task.
Last year, the Food Network star hosted a "Morimoto for Japan" fundraiser to benefit the relief efforts in his home country after a devastating earthquake and tsunami. A lunch with Manuel was one of the items up for auction. Morimoto decided to join along and the two hit it off. The Phillies skipper played professionally in Japan for six years.
It was only a matter of time before he got Morimoto to agree to the pre-game tradition. And who better to headline the ninth annual Asian-Pacific Celebration at Citizens Bank Park? Morimoto has ties with the city going back over a decade. He opened his first restaurant in Philadelphia, cleverly named Morimoto, back in 2001. His culinary empire has spread from New York to Hawaii to Mumbai and beyond, but he still has roots in the City of Brotherly Love.
On Tuesday night, fans were treated to music and dancing from many Asian countries as part of the celebration. There were also kiosks around the stadium showcasing various ethnic foods. All the concession stands at Citizens Bank Park added two new items for the celebration: Pork dumplings and Szechuan chicken and broccoli.
I bet Morimoto wishes they would have just asked him to make a few of his signature tuna pizzas instead of throwing out the first pitch.
-- Adam Watson is the food czar at ThePostGame. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamKWatson.
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