In what’s likely a sign of the coming apocalypse, Papa Emeritus IV from the doomy Swedish rock band Ghost threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Chicago White Sox game on Thursday night.
It’s easy to imagine that regular baseball fans may have been a bit confused by the corpse-paint-wearing lead singer. The band’s legion of fans, though, totally flipped out on Twitter.
The White Sox game took place in Chicago against the visiting Cleveland Guardians. Video posted to YouTube Thursday night showed Papa Emeritus IV strutting onto the field, a baseball glove on his left hand and a bat slung over his right shoulder.
The singer even sported a personalized jersey that read “Papa IV” on the back. All the while, the 1970s smash hit “Disco Inferno” blared on the stadium’s speakers.
After video of the throw hit the internet, fans and fellow musicians alike weighed in on Papa’s pitching. Chris Catalyst, known for his time with legendary goth rockers The Sisters of Mercy, praised the Ghost singer’s skills.
“Lad smashed it tonight,” Catalyst wrote in a tweet.
Another Twitter user pointed out that it looked like the team’s mascot donned a sheet for a photo with Papa.
“No one talking about how the mascot dressed up as a ghost to pose with him,” they wrotealong with a crying emoji.
Someone else noted just how bizarre the entire White Sox-Ghost pairing was.
“The world is bananas because you can now officially say papa emeritus IV is your favorite baseball player,” they tweeted.
And another Ghost lover reflected on the fan base’s renewed fervor for the band.
“[G]hosttwt is insane we are literally freaking out over 3 seconds of papa throwing a ball, “the Twitter user wrote.
Many Ghost fans were shocked on Wednesday after the band announced the strange sports crossover. But some die-hard White Sox fans may have also experienced a jolt when a man in black-and-white face paint first waltzed onto the mound.
“[R]egular baseball fans watching jack skellington walk onto the field to throw the first pitch, “one person wrote in a Thursday tweetwhich included a photo of Queer Eye‘s Antoni Porowski with wide eyes.
Regardless, Papa’s juju didn’t seem to help the team all too much. The White Sox ultimately succumbed to the Cleveland Guardians, losing 4-2.
Ghost was in the area because of the band’s current tour with hard-rock heavyweights Mastodon and Spiritbox. Its latest album, Imperahas generated rave reviews and catapulted the group’s star even higher.
Still, the band has divided some in the rock and metal communities over its embrace of campy costumes, à la Gwar, and use of poppy melodies laid atop heavy riffs. But its emphasis on accessibility has also earned Ghost some mainstream cred.
Back in March, Ghost appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to play one of its recent offerings, “Call Me Little Sunshine.” And when the 2019 banger “Mary on a Cross” went viral on TikTok earlier this year, it landed a late-bloomin ‘spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Newsweek reached out to representatives for Ghost and the White Sox for comment.