‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Amy Schneider Wrapped Up in Fox Sports Controversy After Throwing Giants First Pitch

by Suzanne Halliburton

Fox Sports is trying to clarify what happened with Amy Schneider. The network said it didn’t mean to “overshadow” the Jeopardy! super champion’s first pitch at a Giants-Dodgers baseball game.

It just looked like the network skipped over Schneider’s moment by showing Kurt Busch’s ceremonial first pitch from days before.

A network official issued a statement to SFGate.com to attempt to clear it all up. 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.”

Busch threw out the first pitch for the Giants game on Thursday, June 9. Schneider, the record-setter from Jeopardy!, took the mound Saturday. She was at Oracle Park as part of the Giants’ “Pride Day” festivities. Schneider is the first transgender Jeopardy! champion. And as Schneider made the throw, Fox Sports showed the Busch clip. Announcer Adam Amin told the TV audience “Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch. Of course, we’ve got the NASCAR race tomorrow coming up from Sonoma. You’ll see that on the Fox networks.”

Check out the Jeopardy! champion’s pitch in this tweet from sportswriter Andrew Baggarly. Coincidentally, he’s a former Jeopardy! contestant. (Her fastball was outside and bounced before it hit the catcher’s mitt. But she’s known most for the strength of her brain, not her right arm.)

People Questioned Whether Fox Sports Was Deceptive with Treatment of Jeopardy! Champion

On Sunday, Baggarly quote tweeted a story detailing the perceived Fox Sports snub. He wrote “whether this was an intentional minimization of Pride Day or not, Fox Sports was deceptive and dishonest in how they handled this. They should strive to be better.”

Also on Sunday, NBC announcer Duane Kuiper brought up the deceptive ceremonial pitch shown the day before.

“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.”

Schneider also heard how Busch made the Saturday telecast as she was on the mound. She tweeted “Well, that’s Fox for you.”

Schneider became the most recent Jeopardy! celebrity thanks to her incredible run on the game show late last year. She won 40 straight games, earning more than $1.3 million. She is the most successful female contestant on the show. Her winning streak is second-longest in history behind Ken Jennings’ 70 straight.