Peyton Manning can throw a football better than most people who have ever lived. But we’ll find out soon if he can throw a baseball too.
According to Mike Wilson of the Knoxville News Sentinel, Manning is set to throw the first pitch of tonight’s big Tennessee-Arkansas game. Manning’s Vols are ranked No. 5 in the nation while the rival Razorbacks are No. 1 heading into tonight.
It’s been rumored for several days that Manning would be returning to Knoxville for first pitch. Tennessee teased “a VFL known for his arm throw” would be attending the game for the ceremony.
Lindsey Nelson Stadium was already sold out for the three-game series, and the Vols clearly wanted to give the fans their money’s worth for the big series. It will be the first sporting event of any sort in Tennessee at full capacity since the pandemic began.
Peyton Manning is throwing out the first pitch prior to No. 5 Tennessee vs. No. 1 Arkansas on Friday night. https://t.co/VjjKcaDO6O
— Mike Wilson (@ByMikeWilson) May 14, 2021
Peyton Manning is one of the most iconic players in Tennessee’s storied history. He still holds the Vols’ all-time records in every major passing category and several of the single-season records too.
But while Tennessee won a national title the year after Manning left to go to the NFL, the 20-plus years since then have been rough. They made three trips to the SEC Championship game between 2001 and 2007, but none since.
In recent years though, the Tennessee baseball team has been finding success. They reached the NCAA Tournament in 2019 for the first time in 15 years and are thriving in 2021.
Will Peyton Manning bring the Vols some good fortune by throwing the first pitch tonight?