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EDM pioneer and Chicago DJ Kaskade to throw first pitch at White Sox game

The United States’s number one DJ will provide a different spin to America’s favorite pastime Thursday. Chicago native Kaskade will throw the ceremonial first pitch for the White Sox’ “House Music Night” at U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox hosts the Cleveland Indians.

Kaskade is celebrated as a leading innovator within the flourishing EDM (electronic dance music) scene, with notable collaborators including progressive house pioneer Deadmau5. Kaskade’s credentials feature a slew of Top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club and Airplay charts including “Move for Me,” “Dynasty,” and current single “Atmosphere.” Little, however, is known about his pitching arm.

“My fastball is not very fast, but it will make it to the plate, and it will get into the mitt,” Kaskade said. Remembering pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen’s recently bungled first pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, he adds, “I think as long as I do better than her, I’m okay. Maybe I should knock on wood when I say that.”

Kaskade, who launches a fall tour on Saturday, takes his pitching responsibility seriously.

“During rehearsals for the tour, I taped off sixty feet and six inches to mark the distance from the pitcher’s mound to the catcher,” he says. “Whenever I had a moment, I ran over to throw the ball around. This is a big deal to me.”

Kaskade grew up as a Chicago baseball fan, with a twist.

“My dad and oldest brother were Cubs fans,” he said. “My brother Rich and I were Sox fans. It was two against two. That kept it interesting in the house.”

The White Sox’ second annual House Music Night honors a worldwide musical culture with deep roots in Chicago.

“I owe my life and career to the city of Chicago for fostering this music, and to the people there who toughed it out back in the 80s when there was no fame or glory in it,” says Kaskade.

Theme music for Chicago ballplayers ranges from heavy metal and classic rock to hip-hop and country. Rising popularity notwithstanding, no EDM track has been heard as a Sox starter’s walk-up song. Kaskade has a suggestion for Thursday’s game. “‘Lick It’ is a super high-energy track that I did with Skrillex, who is mainly known for his dubstep sound,” he said. “I think we should give it John Danks as the starting pitcher.” Kaskade said his own walk-up theme would be Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana.

Kaskade’s eighth album, “Atmosphere,” was released Tuesday by Ultra Records. Despite the evolution of Kaskade’s music, it maintains connection to its roots. Citing new songs like “SFO to ORD,” Kaskade says, “People are always saying, ‘You can’t get that Chicago out of you, can you?’ It’s a huge part of my story.”

Jeff Elbel is a local freelance writer.

House Music Night

with DJs Sean Legend, Jesse De La Pena, and Milk N Cookies

Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians

U.S. Cellular Field, 333 West 35th

Pre-game entertainment: 4:30PM-6:30 p.m.

Game time: 7:10PM

Post-game entertainment by Jesse De La Pena at Bacardi at the Park

Tickets (specially priced): whitesox.com/house