49ers Punter Launches Giants' Home Opener With Epic 'First Punt' Into McCovey Cove

San Francisco 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky kicks a football before a San Francisco Giants game.
San Francisco 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky kicks a football before a San Francisco Giants game. / KNBR/Screengrab

Instead of using a ceremonious first pitch to open the 2024 season, the San Francisco Giants found a more unique way to "kick off" the season. Literally.

San Francisco 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky participated in the "ceremonial first punt" ahead of Friday's home opener vs. the San Diego Padres. The 32-year-old will be entering his sixth season with the 49ers in 2024, one season after the team went to Super Bowl LVIII.

He took the football from the outfield and punted it outside of Oracle Park straight toward McCovey Cove, over the heads of hundreds of Giants fans in the crowd. Water canons shot off on the outside of the stadium before the football nearly hit a kayaker in the water as it plopped down.

The crowd loved this fun approach as they cheered loudly for Wishnowsky's punt.

Who knows? Maybe this ceremonial first punt will become an annual event based on the popular response to the video.


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Madison Williams

MADISON WILLIAMS

Madison Williams is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where she has covered the entire sports landscape since 2022. She specializes in tennis, but covers a wide range of sports from a national perspective. Before joining Sports Illustrated, Madison worked with The Sporting News. She hails from Augustana College and completed a Master’s in Sports Media at Northwestern University. Madison is a dog mom and an avid reader.