Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly sinks full-court shot at Florida Gulf Coast University
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly showed off his basketball skills by launching a ball the full length of the court and through the hoop.
We always knew that Boston Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly was capable of doing some pretty incredible things with his arm, but we haven’t seem him do anything like this before.
Kelly joined a few of his teammates Thursday night to take in the men’s basketball game at Florida Gulf Coast University – the alma mater of Chris Sale.
After the game, some of the Red Sox players stepped onto the court to show off some of their skills, but none of them could top what Kelly did. The right-hander launched a basketball from the baseline, swishing it through the net on the opposite end of the court.
Sure, it took him three tries to do it, but come on – it was a full-court shot! Besides, every pitcher needs a few warm up throws to get loose.
The next morning, Kelly explained the process that led to his miraculous shot, per WEEI’s Rob Bradford.
"“The first one I got up to the line, threw it and it was 30 yards right, got inside a little bit, started spinning the other way and I missed it.“Sale was down there rolling them back to me, so I got it again and I did the same thing but probably even worse and shanked it straight right. I’m like, ‘Gosh dang, that’s not even close.’ I was going to give up after the next one because I was making a fool of myself.“But I threw the next one and tried to cut it like a football, and like a golf ball, it went in. But the first two were God awful. It was cool it was on tape. I didn’t know I was getting filmed.”"
Sounds like the process was symbolic of Kelly’s career with the Red Sox. His powerful fastball doesn’t always hit his target, but when it does his stuff is pretty impressive.
The Red Sox hope that moving Kelly to the bullpen full-time will allow him to harness his abilities. He can dial up the heat on his fastball pitching in shorter stints, while getting away with a more limited arsenal so that he can ditch pitches he doesn’t have a great feel for.
We caught a glimpse of what his value could be late last season when Kelly posted a 1.02 ERA and struck out 21 batters over 17 2/3 innings of relief. He also tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen during Boston’s ALDS series against the Cleveland Indians.
Kelly had the highlight of the night, but he wasn’t the only Red Sox player putting on a show. Here’s one of Hanley Ramirez drilling one from half court.
Did anyone catch the three-point contest during NBA All-Star Weekend? After the event, TNT’s Reggie Miller called out a number of players and celebrities to take shots for charity, culminating in Stephen Curry being asked to make one from half court. After a seemingly endless amount of tries, the former MVP couldn’t do it. Maybe they should have called Hanley?
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The Red Sox have their eyes set on winning a World Series this year, but if that doesn’t pan out then perhaps they can give Danny Ainge a call to see if the Celtics can make some room on next season’s roster.