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J.J. Watt opens 2013 MLB season with 73 mph fastball

  • By Kenny Legan NFL.com
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J.J. Watt takes his first pitches seriously.

Before opening the 2013 Major League Baseball season Sunday night with the ceremonial first pitch at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Watt threw a full bullpen session Wednesday consisting of about 45 pitches (65 to 70 percent of which were strikes, according to Watt.)

"Expect some heat Sunday, it will be fun," Watt told reporters after a batting practice session on Friday.

As he's done throughout his whole life, from pizzas to sacks, Watt delivered.

The Houston Texans defensive end stepped onto the mound just before the Astros' opener against the Texas Rangers and held nothing back. As ceremonial first pitch standards go, he fired a rocket.

It was a little low and outside (or inside, if Ichiro was at the plate) but not bad for the former high school baseball player.

Texans fans need not worry: This was just the latest stop in a busy offseason for Watt, and we wouldn't advise him to quit his day job anytime soon. But this just proves that the 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is a very versatile athlete.

Follow Kenny Legan on Twitter @KennyLegan.

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