For an actor, every performance in front of the public is an important one.
Even something like a ceremonial first pitch.
So, Kelsey Grammer — the star of shows like Frasier, Cheers and Boss as well as the voice of Sideshow Bob on the legendary animated series, The Simpsons — got to work quickly. Well before he was set to take the mound, Grammer found Somerset Patriots manager emeritus and 1977 American League Cy Young Award Winner Sparky Lyle for a catch by the home on-deck circle.
Turns out, he was a quick study.
The winner of five Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, one Daytime Emmy Award and one Tony Award fired from the rubber and fired a perfect strike to Lyle, wowing fans who lined up outside TD Bank Ballpark for a chance to meet the iconic star well before gates were set to open.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Grammer said through a smile. “I haven’t worked up speed, so I thought, ‘Well, I hope I get accuracy.’ My granddad used to say, ‘You need to get accuracy before you get speed.’ We made it.”
Grammer was on hand to not only promote, but pour beers — yes, he was behind the tap on the first base concourse for his entire appearance, not just for a photo op — from his own Faith American Brewing Company, with both his ale and Calico Man IPA being dispensed to legal-aged fans who waited in a line that nearly wrapped around the entire ballpark.
In a wide-ranging interview with PatriotsBaseball.com and Forbes — the only time those two outlets will ever share a sentence, no doubt — Grammer, a long-time baseball fan who cited being at Kirk Gibson’s walk-off homer in the 1988 World Series as his most memorable moment in watching the game, says the reaction from meeting fans at these events has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s been great,” he said. “We were at the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival this past week, and people were really excited. What tends to happen is, they’ll say, ‘Hey’s it you…this is your beer? May we have a picture?’ Yes. And then they have a taste of the beer and say, ‘Wow, oh it’s good.’ So, it’s been paying off. You get a little hook, and arguably I’m that hook, but then they have a beer that tastes really good.”