The first pitch was part of a whirlwind day at Dodger Stadium for the veteran actor, whose long resume includes his current gig as Raylan Givens on the FX series "Justified." Olyphant, humorous, self-deprecating and a loud and proud fan of Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, was the most recent celebrity to take a stab at "Express Written Consent," sponsored by Klondike.
Olyphant joined MLB.com's Jeremy Brisiel at Dodger Stadium to announce a game from a suite, just like a regular baseball broadcaster. Well, not exactly like a baseball broadcaster. This was more of a casual conversation between two baseball fans who, from time to time, would look down on the field and attempt to give their accounts and descriptions of what was happening.
That's all part of the fun of Express Written Consent, which is back for a second year after a successful initial campaign in 2012.
"If he swings at anything low, just boo him," Olyphant said while Ellis dug in at the plate.
And his reaction to Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum throwing one high and inside?
"That was similar to my first [ceremonial] pitch," he said. "It was about like that, only there wasn't a [batter] standing there. If that's the way this guy wants to play, that's fine. But that's on him. If his mother's cool with that and he sleeps OK, that's fine."
Olyphant may not be the world's most experienced broadcaster, but when it comes to his regular job, he's quite accomplished. He's best known for his roles in "Justified," "Deadwood" and "Damages," but he's also starred in a slew of films such as "Scream 2," "Gone in 60 seconds," "Live Free or Die Hard/Die Hard 4.0," "Hitman" and "Rango."
In the middle of the broadcast, Brisiel and Olyphant played "Start, Bench, Cut," where the celebrity is given three names, or in this case, three inanimate objects, and he must decide each one's fate.
For example: petrified, magnified, chicken fried. Olyphant's picks: start magnified -- "That's my next show, by the way, "Magnified"; bench chicken fried -- "It's good to have chicken fried just there whenever you want it"; and cut petrified -- "We have no room for that."
In the next exercise, titled, "Three Up, Three Down," Olyphant was given nine baseball terms and was asked to match them up with phrases.
It was here that we learned Olyphant was a swimmer when he was a kid growing up in Southern California. He started training competitively in high school and became a nationally ranked swimmer, and he continued swimming at the University of Southern California.
So when Brisiel offered "Your Swimming Career" as a topic, Olyphant didn't hesitate before matching it with the word "blast."
Next up: "Your early theatrical career," Brisiel said.
"Grand slam," Olyphant answered. Feigning modesty for humor's sake, he added, "My Off-Broadway debut was to critical acclaim. It's a shame we don't have some of my clippings here. If my mother was here ... but, I didn't invite her."
That opened the logical door for Brisiel to follow up with "Your Mother" to end the "Three Up, Three Down" session.
Without hesitation, Olyphant selected, "MVP."
Credit Olyphant with a save on that one.