‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Amy Schneider Says ‘Close the Book’ on Fox Sports Controversy

by Suzanne Halliburton

Jeopardy! super champion Amy Schneider declared the “pitch gate” controversy with Fox Sports as done and over with, no need to drag it out.

She posted two tweets to update her Jeopardy! fans Thursday about the latest news. Schneider said the director of the Fox Sports team for Major League Baseball gave her a call.

“Last comments on [pitchgate] or whatever: the director of the MLB On Fox broadcast Saturday reached out to me personally to apologize. He reiterated that it had nothing to do with my identity, and that Fox Sports has never been told how to cover or not cover Pride…”

Then the second tweet: “I believe him, and have accepted his apology. It was just a misunderstanding, so we can close the book on it.”

Fox Sports Showed First Pitch from NASCAR Star Not Jeopardy! Champ

So here’s how the so-called PitchGate started. The San Francisco Giants asked Schneider, who won 40 straight games on Jeopardy!, to throw out the first pitch for last Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants were celebrating Pride month and figured Schneider, who is transgender, would be the perfect choice to throw the ceremonial pitch. Schneider, who lives in nearby Oakland, dressed in a Giants jersey and a multi-colored tutu. Her pitch ended up bouncing before it got to the catcher. But it was all good.

Andrew Baggarly, a sportswriter and former Jeopardy! contestant, posted a video clip of Schneider’s pitch.

But if you were watching the game from home, Fox Sports showed Kurt Busch throw out the first pitch. Here’s the problem: Busch’s first pitch happened three days before. The Fox announcer didn’t reveal that detail, but he used Busch’s pitch to promote the network’s coverage of a NASCAR race the next day.

Duane Kuiper, a baseball broadcaster for NBC, brought up the perceived snub the next day.

“I wanted to make a correction from what I watched yesterday on the Fox broadcast,” Kuiper said on the telecast of the Sunday game. “The broadcast implied that Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch yesterday, which was not true. … Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch on Thursday. It was Amy Schneider from ‘Jeopardy!’ fame who threw out the first pitch on Pride Day yesterday. So I just wanted to make sure that she got her due.”

A network official issued a statement to SFGate.com to attempt to clarify what happened. The statement said: “On Saturday, as part of a promotional package for the weekend’s NASCAR race in northern California, we aired a taped first pitch of famed NASCAR driver Kurt Busch. This promotion was in no way meant to overshadow the ceremonial first pitch for the game as it is not routine for us to air.”