49ers' Mitch Wishnowsky Sends Ball Into the Drink During Giants' Season Opener

49ers Star Shines in Unique Baseball Game Opening Act

by Nouman Rasool
49ers' Mitch Wishnowsky Sends Ball Into the Drink During Giants' Season Opener
© Eakin Howard/Getty Images

In an unconventional twist to traditional opening day ceremonies, San Francisco 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky brought a slice of the NFL to the MLB's San Francisco Giants' season opener at Oracle Park. Eschewing the standard ceremonial first pitch, Wishnowsky instead opted for a "first punt," launching a football over the outfield wall and into McCovey Cove.

The memorable moment was swiftly followed by a kayaker retrieving the ball from the bay waters, adding a unique spectacle to the day's festivities. The event also featured appearances from Wishnowsky's 49ers teammates, All-Pro receiver Deebo Samuel, and linebacker Fred Warner, who adhered to tradition by throwing ceremonial first pitches.

This cross-sport collaboration highlighted the camaraderie and mutual support between the city's major sports franchises.

Mitch Wishnowsky's Punting Excellence

Wishnowsky, celebrated for his punting prowess, is no stranger to accolades, having won the Ray Guy Award in 2019 during his standout season with the University of Utah.

This award is bestowed annually on college football's most outstanding punter. His performance in Super Bowl LVIII, where he punted five times for a total of 254 yards, although in a losing effort against the Kansas City Chiefs, underscores his critical role in the team's strategy.

Aside from the day's unique ceremonial activities, the game itself was a nail-biter, with Giants infielder Thairo Estrada clinching a walk-off victory against the San Diego Padres with an RBI double in the ninth inning. This win was bolstered by pitcher Jordan Hicks' stellar performance, allowing only five hits and one run over seven innings.

Mitch Wishnowsky, whose career average stands at an impressive 45.7 yards per punt over 288 games, has proven to be a valuable asset to the 49ers since being drafted in the fifth round in 2019. His ceremonial punt into McCovey Cove not only added a memorable twist to the Giants' home opener but also underscored the versatile talent and sportsmanship shared across San Francisco's professional sports teams.