The Black Keys' Carney thrilled to throw 1st pitch

The Black Keys' Carney thrilled to throw 1st pitch

CLEVELAND -- Patrick Carney is used to playing in front of large crowds, but sitting behind a set of drums is a lot different than throwing out a first pitch.

Carney -- the drummer for the band The Black Keys, who hail from nearby Akron, Ohio -- knows that social-media critics can be cruel when it comes to ceremonial first pitches. Just ask 50 Cent. With the temperature near freezing at Progressive Field for Tuesday's opener against the Red Sox, Carney had a plan.

"It was nerve-wracking," Carney said with a smirk. "I wanted to keep [my hands] cold, so I had an excuse in case I totally screwed it up."

Everything went fine for Carney, who was contacted by the Indians back in February and asked to take part in the season-opening festivities. Carney has attended Opening Day for the Tribe in the past, but he did so alongside his father, Jim, who is a big Indians fan. He was honored to get the invitation.

Dan Auerbach -- the other member of The Black Keys -- was unable to attend.

"The minute I heard, I said, 'Yes,'" said Carney, who helps sponsor a Little League team in West Akron. "I took my dad to Opening Day in 2014, and we had a blast. I never thought they'd ever ask Dan or I to do it. Hopefully Dan does it later this year."

Carney said he used to have a pretty good throwing arm, but due to a recent shoulder injury, "I just have no control."

Given his dad's passion for the Indians, Carney also followed the Indians when he was young. He even attended one of the Indians' World Series games against the Marlins in 1997, though that experience led him to focus less on baseball and more on his music until recent years.

"I follow baseball, because my dad's obsessed with baseball," Carney said. "He actually took me here in 1997 to see the Indians play the Marlins. And then when they lost that Series, my dad was so upset. I was 17 and I was like, 'You know what? I don't know if I really want to invest in this.' My dad was like 50 and bummed out, but by the time I was like 30 I started coming around and getting back into baseball.

"I've been more into sports now than I [have been] since probably middle school. It's fun. It's hard for me to follow stuff when we've been on tour, but now with all the apps and the MLB package, and things like that, it makes it much easier."

Carney sees big things for the Tribe this year, too.

"I feel good about it," he said. "As my dad says, this is the year. Every year."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.