Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda is having a pretty good start to 2021. First, he drew a helpful little greeting card — complete with cows! — to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Now we know he can fall back on a career as a professional artist for Hallmark when he
Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda is having a pretty good start to 2021. First, he drew a helpful little greeting card — complete with cows! — to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Now we know he can fall back on a career as a professional artist for Hallmark when he hangs up his cleats:
— 前田健太(Kenta Maeda)マエケン (@maeken1988) January 1, 2021
Far more importantly, he took part in the annual sports-and-comedy competition that translates to “Tonneruzu’s Sports King” that aired on TV Asahi over the weekend. The show features a number of not-at-all serious competitions, including golf where contestants have to nail a hole-in-one on a floating and moving cup, or soccer where contestants have to kick the ball into the proper squares. Basically, think of all the “training” exercises you can play in a sports video game.
Far more importantly, though, there’s a baseball competition that is set up as if a baseball board game was placed on the actual field. Everyone was out looking to have a good time.
— 隼 (賢介ファン) (@yakyuuhamu_3) January 3, 2021
They also made sure to show how seriously they were taking the health protocols:
— 前田健太(Kenta Maeda)マエケン (@maeken1988) January 2, 2021
Maeda then got to take his turn at bat. Carrying some golden lumber, the Twins’ hurler connected — missing all the spots on the field calling for outs — and sent the ball way over the left-field wall. He raised his arm triumphantly and even added a bat flip:
— プロスピA珍プレー好プレー (@A83621501) January 2, 2021
Perhaps shockingly, this wasn’t Maeda’s first home run. He actually homered in his big league debut with the Dodgers in 2016 — and hasn’t hit one since. Maybe he just needs more practice in game shows.
Michael Clair writes for MLB.com. He spends a lot of time thinking about walk-up music and believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit.