Cardinals groundskeeper finds himself in worst place possible during awful first pitch

The worst place to be during a first pitch is directly behind the plate. Most people should know this. If anyone other than a former Major League Baseball player is throwing out the first pitch, you have to plan for a terribly inaccurate throw.

One groundskeeper on the St. Louis Cardinals learned that the hard way Sunday. As he walked behind the plate during a first pitch, he was hit in the head by a terrible throw.

How did the Cardinals groundskeeper get hit in the head?

In his defense, he was just doing his job. The groundskeeper was laying down the chalk stencil behind the plate that encouraged fans to vote Cardinals players into the All-Star Game. As he got up to walk away, the first pitch sailed high and plunked him in the head.

Why did the pitch hit the Cardinals groundskeeper in the head?

It was a bad throw by the person on the mound. While the result was awful, we’ve seen far worse first pitches. Mariah Carey’s attempt comes to mind. As does 50 Cent’s first pitch.

In fact, this wasn’t even the worst instance of someone getting hit by a first pitch. That occurred in 2017, when a cameraman took a first pitch to the groin.

This Cardinals groundskeeper has been unlucky the past few years. (Screenshot via MLB)

Why does that Cardinals groundskeeper look familiar?

If you thought you recognized the groundskeeper, you might be right. His name is Lucas Hackmann, and he was the unfortunate member of the grounds crew to be bitten by the rally cat last season. Remember the rally cat in St. Louis? That was a big deal for a few weeks.

Don’t remember the rally cat in St. Louis? Maybe this picture will jog your memory.

A Cardinals grounds crew member was bitten by a cat in 2017. He was hit in the head with a first pitch in 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Yeah, that’s Hackmann, the same guy who got hit in the head with a first pitch Sunday. He doesn’t seem to have suffered any major injuries after getting hit with the pitch. Maybe his pride is injured, but that’s about it.

That he came away unscathed shouldn’t come as a surprise. Hackmann seems used to dealing with pain at this point.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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