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Creepy Kid from The Ring Throws Out First Pitch

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Panda Puppet via YouTube

While American baseball has been content to allow celebrities and presidents to throw out the ceremonial first pitch during Major League games, Japan has innovated by inviting the undead to do the same.

In a game between the Nippon-Ham Fighters and the Yakult Swallows this past weekend, Sadako—the creepy little girl who terrorized viewers of a haunted VHS tape in 1998’s The Ring (and its 2002 U.S. remake)—appeared on the stadium’s monitors before idling out to the pitcher’s mound. The batter? Kayako, the ghostly apparition from 2002’s Ju-On: The Grudge.

As the cheerleaders ran away in horror, Sadako wound up and delivered a pitch that Kayako was able to crack; her undead son, Toshio, ran to first base in her place before all of them were carted off by team mascots.

The stunt was intended to promote the July release of Kōji Shiraishi's Sadako vs. Kayako, a horror movie mash-up in the vein of Freddy vs. Jason. Their on-field encounter joins a Kayako Instagram account and Sadako scaring people at Osaka’s Universal Studios as part of a highly creative marketing effort. And yes, Sadako is pretty creepy even in broad daylight.

[h/t Variety]

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video
Seattle Mariners Fans Are Going Crazy for These Crunchy Grasshopper Snacks
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Great Big Story, Youtube

Seattle Mariners fans have more than warmed up to the newest, offbeat addition to the Safeco Field concessions menu: toasted grasshoppers covered in chili-lime salt.

The crunchy snack, which sells for $4 and comes packed in a small container, has only been available for less than a season but has already sold 300,000-plus orders to date. That's about 1000 pounds of grasshoppers. 

Frequenters of Seattle's popular Mexican restaurant Poquitos will know that this delicacy—which first started as a novelty item on its menu—has actually been available to the public for six years. But it wasn't until local chef Ethan Stowell was hired to give the Safeco Field menu a hip retooling that the salty bugs found new, fervent popularity at the ballpark. (Also on the Safeco menu: fried oysters drizzled in hot sauce.)

Great Big Story met up with Manny Arce, the executive chef of Poquitos and visionary behind this culinary home run, to discuss the popularity of these crunchy critters. You can watch the video interview below:

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History
The First High Five Recorded in the History of Sports
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Denis Poroy/Getty Images

We don’t quite know who invented the high five—but we can pinpoint the moment it became inextricably linked with sports, which the short documentary The High Five explores below.

On October 2, 1977, Los Angeles Dodgers leftfielder Dusty Baker scored his 30th home run, making the team the first in history to have four players—Baker, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, and Reggie Smith—with at least 30 homers under each of their belts. Fellow outfielder Glenn Burke was so overwhelmed with joy and pride, he raised his arm and slapped his flat palm against the victorious athlete’s own palm. The moment transformed Baker and Burke into legends.

Sadly, the latter player faced hard times ahead: Burke was gay, and it’s believed that his sexuality prompted team officials to trade him to the Oakland A's the following year. In Oakland, Burke clashed with team manager Billy Martin, then retired early from baseball. Today, Burke is remembered for his charisma and talent—and for transforming a simple gesture into a universal symbol. “To think his energy and personality was the origin of that, that’s a pretty good legacy,” sportswriter Lyle Spencer says in the film.

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