20 Seasons Highlights CD: Pat McAfee: A Pro Baseball Player
In 2022, the Washington Wild Things are celebrating their 20th Frontier League season. The team will be celebrating in numerous ways Opening Weekend, beyond that and in several other ways. As part of our celebration, we're counting down some of the historical highlights the organization and team has seen occur over the first 19 seasons of Wild Things' baseball in the league.
The countdown isn't in any specific order in terms of importance, but it's time we visit some of the best on-field moments, significant historical accomplishments, records, traditions and more.
Plans for the celebration of the 20th season of Frontier League baseball for the Washington Wild Things are still in the works and whenever they get announced, you can rest assured the party will not stop all season long with the festivities kicking off May 13-15 with Opening Weekend.
June 21, 2018 is a day that lives in the history of the Wild Things as one of the big ones.
Pat McAfee, a Plum, Pennsylvania, native and former NFL punter with the Colts, played professional baseball that day for the Washington Wild Things against Traverse City.
An idea that came about between the 2017 and 2018 seasons came to fruition and Dingers Only Night, presented by Venture Energy Solutions, was born.
For months, the former NFL punter turned entertainment star trained to make his professional baseball debut and once he arrived, the crowd showed. He was inserted into Gregg Langbehn's lineup in the nine hole, otherwise known as the second lead-off, and in right field.
Prior to the game, McAfee spoke with the media, including the Wild Things Baseball Network, on what the night could entail. To watch the Wild Things Baseball Network interview, click here.
McAfee made a best friend in James Harris, took batting practice, shagged fly balls during it and prepared for battle.
He was put out on a 3-1 play in his first at bat of the night after putting the first pitch he saw in play. That came just after McAfee brought his career fielding percentage, a pro baseball record, to 1.000 by retiring Alec Olund on a fly out in the top of the second for out number two.
In his second at bat, Traverse City pitcher Reinaldo Lopez was rude enough to throw a first-pitch curveball to him, which Pat took for strike one. He grounded the second pitch of the plate appearance to Lopez and was retired 1-3.
In what turned out to be the final at bat for McAfee, he took a 1-1 pitch on the ground which went for a fielder's choice out at second before the throw to first got away and McAfee not only reached, but advanced to second.
He then was lifted for Mick Fennell to boos, before the Wild Things' faithful realized the move from manager Gregg Langbehn was to give McAfee a well-deserved ovation, which he received on his way off the field before getting a curtain call.
It was a night that the organization will remember forever. McAfee has gone off to have a huge amount of success with the Pat McAfee Show on YouTube and is getting ready to wrestle Austin Theory at Wrestlemania, on top of him having already wrestled inside War Games and against WWE NXT-turned AEW star Adam Cole. He also is on the Smackdown announce team for WWE and has had other media opportunities.
You can revisit the night with the documentary Pat's team put together and released. It's available for free on YouTube: WATCH HERE.
Watch the full game archive on the Livestream site.
To keep up with the countdown, see below for trips back in the past to our previous three stops on the countdown. Stay glued to our social media, website and more for more information regarding our big plans for the 20 Seasons Anniversary celebration, because it's sure to be wild. We're giving you the presents, the parties, the fun and more as a thanks for your support over the years and the support we know will continue to be shown to us.
20 Seasons Countdown History:
20: James Harris Makes History with First Wild Things' cycle
19: Barry Bonds a Wild Thing? We revisit the moment that got the Wild Things national attention!
18: Two Triple Plays in Wild Things history
17: Postseason Awards, All Stars
16: MVP's, Pitchers of the Year
15: Midseason All Stars, ASG's hosted in Washington