METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich threw out the first pitch when the San Francisco Giants baseball team hosted the sixth annual "Metallica Night" Monday (April 23) in honor of the Bay Area metal legends. In addition, guitarist Kirk Hammett took to the diamond for a fiery solo rendition of the national anthem.
Asked by NBC Sports if tossing out the first pitch has gotten easier over the last six years, Ulrich said (see video below): "You know what? When you walk out to the mound after they call your name, it's still ten or fifteen seconds of the loneliest time in your life. I just walk out, and I always try to just look up and soak it all in. But that walk is, like… you feel kind of lonely.
"Six years in, I think most of them have been where they should be," he continued. "[I've had] the occasional bounce right at home plate, but there's been no embarrassments; it hasn't ended up in the dugout or out in the bay or anything like that. So it's six for six; it's good.
"This is a tradition that's been going for, like we say, six years now, and we're so proud for the city of San Francisco, for the team and for the families and for the whole vibe here," he said. "And it's just so awesome that we still have this going."
Ulrich reiterated the fact that he is thrilled to be able to represent the San Francisco Bay Area during his travels with METALLICA around the planet.
"Obviously, 35 years later, METALLICA flies the flag for San Francisco all over the world, and we're proud," he said. "Most of the merchandise we sell says 'METALLICA San Francisco,' and we fly the flag loud and proud for San Francisco and all things Bay Area. And, obviously, our hometown, to be able to have this relationship with the Giants. And like we said, year six, and hopefully this is gonna keep going forever. And it's so much fun. I live 10, 15 minutes from here. This is part of who we are, so it's an awesome thing to be able to do every year."
A portion of the proceeds from every "Metallica Night" ticket sold will benefit the band's own All Within My Hands foundation.
METALLICA frontman James Hetfield said about the yearly event, "We're blessed to be doing this every year and being a part of the vibe here. You know, when times are good, when times are bad, they need the support.”
METALLICA has always kept strong ties to the Bay Area sports scene: the band has also performed before Golden State Warriors basketball games and San Jose Sharks hockey games.