Last Tuesday, Masaharu Morimoto headed to the mound of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to throw the first pitch at a Mets-Phillies game. Not many people know that Morimoto fell into the culinary world as a result of an old baseball injury: before his days as Iron Chef, Morimoto played in Japan’s minor leagues and hoped to become a professional catcher. Unfortunately for Japanese baseball, a shoulder injury forced Morimoto into the kitchen, but that totally worked out well for all of us.
And it was also better off that he did not become a baseball player, because this happened:
Although we’ll cut Morimoto some slack for missing the mitt (shoulder injuries will do that to you), our hearts go out to him for having his face sucked by the Philly Phanatic.
Morimoto, who opened his first US restaurant in the city in 2001, graciously let himself be assaulted by a giant furry green toilet plunger as part of the Park’s ninth annual Asian-Pacific Celebration. The event included performances and Real Asian Food additions to the stadium’s menu (though no contributions from Morimoto himself, alas.)
Oh yeah, the Mets beat the Phillies 7-4. Morimoto also has a New York restaurant, so no one knows if he had torn allegiances during that game.
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