Crystal Not So Mahvelous at Baseball

Comedian strikes out in lone spring training at bat with Yanks
By Jamie Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2008 9:17 PM CDT
Actor-comedian Billy Crystal, right, shares a laugh in the dugout with New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez and Jason Lane during their spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates today.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – He’s starred in dozens of movies, hosted the Oscars, and now Billy Crystal can add ‘played for the NY Yankees’ to his resume. The longtime fan enjoyed an early birthday present today as he started for the Bronx Bombers in a spring training game, going 0-1 with a strikeout in his first – and last – Major League at-bat. It wasn’t your typical Hollywood ending, but Crystal had no complaints.

The idea for Crystal's birthday appearance reportedly came from Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter. "I can always say I led off for the New York Yankees," Crystal said. "I don't even know how to describe it. It was so intensely good." The comedian got ahead in the count 3-1 before Pittsburgh’s Paul Maholm struck him out swinging. Crystal left the field to a standing ovation as the Yanks fell to the Pirates, 5-3.