The woman who could turn the world on with her smile once fired up Twins fans at the Metrodome in 2002.
Mary Tyler Moore, in town for the unveiling of her statue in downtown Minneapolis, threw out the first pitch before a Twins game. And it was a hoot. Watching video of the moment yesterday brought back memories.
First, Moore while standing in front of the pitcher's mound, took off her cap and tossed it into the air - just like she did during the opening credits of her long running show. That brief moment, in which she turned back into Mary Richards, brought laughs from the crowd.
Then Moore showed that she really prepared for the role. With Twins manager Ron Gardenhire squatting behind home plate, Moore checked the imaginary runner at first, checked the imaginary runner at third, lifted her right leg, rocked and heaved a pitch that broke over the plate and into Gardenhire's glove for a strike. The crowd roared as the 65-year old Moore clapped her hands.
Moore's effort wound up on SportsCenter that night with a baseball analyst - I think it was Rob Dibble - claiming that Moore was good enough to help out a few MLB bullpens.
Of course, he was laying it on a little thick. But how many celebrities attempt to throw a first pitch and make an utter debacle out of it? Moore fired a strike on her big day and did so with flair - just like she did throughout he distinguished television and film career.
Sadly, Moore passed away on Wednesday. But moments like the one on May 7, 2002 will live forever.