New York Yankees pitcher Corey Kluber threw a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday evening, but he was not the first to throw a pitch inside Globe Life Field on the evening. American John Isner threw out the game’s ceremonial first pitch in Arlington to help promote the launch of the Dallas Open.
“It was good. The ball was a little high, just what I was afraid of. My release point is a little too early. But I didn’t want to ground ball it,” Isner said, cracking a laugh. “I love baseball. The problem is I don’t really have a team, there are no teams in North Carolina [where I’m from]. But it’s great to do promotion for the tournament. The tournament’s going to be great.”
Photo Credit: Kelly Gavin/Texas Rangers
Earlier in the day, it was announced that Dallas will host an ATP 250 from 2022, with next year’s event set for 6-13 February. Isner lives in Dallas, which makes it even more exciting. The tournament will be played at the Styslinger/Altec Tennis Complex at Southern Methodist University, where Isner practises while at home.
“It’s incredibly nice. It’s very lucky for me to have this tournament coming here so close to home. I practise there all the time,” Isner said. “I’m lucky in the sense that I kind of have a couple of hometown events. Atlanta is one, and here in Dallas. It’s good.”
Also in attendance at the Dallas Open’s launch earlier in the day was NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki, who played for the Dallas Mavericks and is a big tennis fan.
“That was cool. The fact that he loves tennis helps a lot and he really does love this sport, so it’s great,” Isner said.
It was also announced Wednesday that the Isner Family Foundation will serve as a non-profit partner for the event. The Isner Family Foundation provides financial support for qualified families to obtain necessities, such as meals, clothing, transportation, convenient lodging, car seats and medical supplies, while their children are under the care of Children’s Health, one of the largest and most prestigious pediatric health care providers in the country and the leading pediatric health care system in North Texas.
“It’s amazing. That’s going to be something that will be done for many years to come, long after I’m done playing as well,” Isner said. “I consider myself very lucky to have the foundation be a part of that.”