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'Competitive' Rookie Class Spends Evening At D-Backs Game

First-round picks Harrison Jr. and Robinson throw out first pitch

Marvin Harrison Jr. (left) and Darius Robinson are all smiles after their first pitches Thursday night at the Diamondbacks game.
Marvin Harrison Jr. (left) and Darius Robinson are all smiles after their first pitches Thursday night at the Diamondbacks game.

Darius Robinson has fond memories of throwing the baseball with his friends when he lived in Detroit when he was in high school. That was also the last time he threw a baseball.

Until Thursday.

The first-round pick-- 27 overall -- along with the No. 4 overall selection, Marvin Harrison Jr.., each threw out a first pitch at the Diamondbacks game before the local team hosted the Los Angeles Angels.

The entire Cardinals rookie class had a front row view to the duo's efforts.

"I give Marvin maybe a seven or eight," safety Rabbit Taylor-Demerson said. "D-Rob was right there with Marvin though. He wasn't supposed to do that."

Both Harrison and Robinson -- who wanted to throw from the pitcher's mound but was encouraged to take a few steps in front instead -- made it to the plate.

Both had optimistic views on their throws.

"I think I threw a strike, but (he) would've hit a home run," Harrison said with a laugh. "But I still threw a strike."

"Mine was a ball, but he would've swung and missed," Robinson added.

Harrison, a Philadelphia native, has gone to a Phillies game as a guest of star Bryce Harper. His visit to the ballpark in the Valley remains a highlight in his first few months as a Cardinal.

"It's my first time being on an actual field and being in this arena," Harrison said. "It's cool to see a different sport live in person."

The trip to Chase field puts a lid on what had been an eventful few days for the rookies. They had their first mandatory minicamp on Tuesday and recently have attended many community service events.

As players, they're tasked with learning the playbook and familiarizing themselves with the professional athlete lifestyle. But as people, they've made it a priority to become members of the community as well.

"We've gotten really close, this rookie class," tight end Tip Reiman said. "Events like this just continue to help us bond. Not only are we having fun, being out at these games and then doing some of the charity work, but we're getting closer together as a unit at the same time.

"It's two birds, one stone."

Earlier Thursday, the rookies spent time at United Food Bank packaging 1,300 food bags for those in need. Reiman said a competition between the offense and defense broke out in the middle of the event to see who could pack the most.

"Obviously, the offense won the competition," Reiman said. "It was so awesome."

Many of the players will head home on Friday as the offseason program ends. While he enjoyed throwing out the first pitch, Harrison is ready for the action on the gridiron.

"It's probably easier to catch a baseball with the big gloves on," Harrison said. "But football is a lot easier for me."