That Josh Rosen and Christian Kirk got a chance to throw out the first pitch at a Diamondbacks game Tuesday night was not unique – that opportunity has come for a number of Cardinals over the past few years.
Having the manager of the baseball team willing to catch your toss, that's unique.
But there was Torrey Lovello – himself, like Rosen, a UCLA product – playing receiver for Rosen's throw, a couple of weeks after reaching out to Rosen on Twitter to make the invitation.
"You're a little nervous to go to a new city, and the (manager) of the Diamondbacks offers to have you throw the first pitch," Rosen said. "It was really cool."
The cool reached far beyond Rosen. A total of 24 Cardinals' rookies attended the outing, riding a bus together to the game and then, after Rosen and Kirk did their duty, spending time eating dinner and watching the Diamondbacks-Reds game from a pair of suites.
Kirk, meanwhile, called the night "surreal," getting the chance to himself throw out a pitch after going to countless D-Backs games growing up in nearby Scottsdale.
"When they told me I was coming out to do this, I circled it on my calendar," Kirk said.
As for his own pitch, "being the native, hometown kid, I have to live up to some expectations," he added.
The week is all about the Cardinals' rookies, in large part because the veterans have the week off before returning Monday for the final week of organized team activities. There is not much life for the rookies outside of football right now – they spend the day at the team facility either working out, sitting in meetings or getting on-field work.
They stay at a nearby hotel, and because most do not have cars, it's usually easier just to stay in to relax or get some studying in with a big playbook.
"I like events like this because we call get to bond and get closer," defensive end Alec James said. "We bond in practice, but this is different and a lot of fun."