What you see here, courtesy his Twitter account, is Jonah Hill throwing out the first pitch at yesterday's Chicago White Sox game at US Cellular Field. When we spoke a little while ago at his Uptown hotel, he insisted: The stands were empty because it was a day game, and because it was raining. "The fans were all huddled beneath under the stands," he said. "At least, that's what they told me."
It will be a little more crowded at the Ballpark in Arlington tonight, when the Superbad actor takes to the hill before Rangers-Indians. Hill, making the PR rounds on behalf of Moneyball, said he's not nervous. "I used to be an athlete," he says, referring to his days as a Little Leaguer. "And I'm in better shape now." He is, indeed, half the man he used to be. "I'm a performer, comfortable in front of an audience, and I've done it before, in Boston, like, a year ago, during the Get Him to the Greek tour. I was there meeting with Theo Epstein," the Red Sox's GM and one of the real-life figures upon whom Hill's Peter Brand is based in Bennett Miller's adaptation of Michael Lewis's book about the Oakland A's use of stats over scouts when it came to drafting players in 2002.
Hill's particularly excited about meeting Rangers skipper Ron Washington, a bit player in the film. Wash was, during Billy Beane's early days as A's general manager, the team's first-base coach and the man who taught Scott Hatteberg how to transition from catcher to first base; he's portrayed by the great Brent Jennings, a familiar face.
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"I sat next to [Jennings] for a long time while we shot the draft-room scenes, which took two weeks. And now I get to meet the real Ron Washington. There are so many cool things about this movie. Like, David Justice was at the Toronto premiere." He smiles. "And now, Ron Washington."