For fans of legendary actor Tom Hanks, the Cleveland Guardians’ Opening Day last Friday was nothing short of iconic.
In the hit 2000 movie “Cast Away”, the actor plays the part of a FedEx systems analyst that gets involved in a plane crash. Following his plane going down, he is the sole survivor of the crash and washes up on an uninhibited island. During his survival journey, Hanks’ character relies on the company of a volleyball named ‘Wilson’ that has a bloody handprint smile illustrated on the object.
Who showed up on Opening Day with Tom Hanks?!
The movie has an approval rating of 89% and helped Hanks win the 2000 Golden Globe Award for Best Action in a Motion Picture – Drama. Considering the movie’s substantial impact and the memorable personification of the volleyball, fans of the actor were thrilled to see the 65-year-old step out onto the field holding the Wilson Sporting Goods ball.
On April 15th, the actor was given the opportunity to throw the first pitch of the season for the guardians after he was cited as one of the biggest Cleveland fans in the world. When the announcer introduced the Academy Award winner, he made sure to mention the special someone Hanks was accompanied by.
“Joining Tom, please welcome his former co-star from the movie “Cast Away,” the Cleveland announcer told the crowd as the actor made his way onto the field. “It’s Wilson, the volleyball!”
As fans erupted into applause, the California native took to the mound where he participated in the ceremonial Opening Day pitch. Tossing the pitch to Larry Doby Jr., who is the son of Larry Doby (the first Black player in the American League), surely was a dream come true as a longtime fan of the Guardians, Since the 1970s, the actor has been supporting the team following working an internship at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland.
For baseball fans, they are also familiar with Hanks’ portrayal of the drunken baseball manager Jimmy Dugan in “A League of Their Own,” where he coined the memorable phrase “There’s no crying in baseball.”
Although it was thrilling to see him take the mound at Progressive Field, it wasn’t enough to ensure the Guardians took home the win. Unfortunately, Cleveland lost to the San Francisco Giants 4-1.
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