TORONTO - A former minor league baseball pitcher with a good arm has won $5,000 and bragging rights at Canada's first mobile phone throwing championship.
Jeremiah Sammy, 25, of Brampton, Ont., was crowned the winner Saturday after he chucked an old cellphone 78.88 metres across the football field at the University of Toronto's Varsity Centre.
The competition, sponsored by cellphone provider Mobilicity, also rewarded Sammy and two runner-ups with Samsung Galaxy S III smartphones equipped with a year of unlimited phone services.
James Turner came in second place with a cellphone toss of 48.46 metres and Ziggy Strawczynski came in third at 43.89 metres.
The three qualifiers earned their spots after beating out a crowd of people who were at the stadium for a football game between long-time rivals, the University of Toronto Blues and the York University Lions.
The cellphone throwers had hoped to beat the Guinness World record of 101.46 metres, set in August by Ere Karjalainen of Finland.
Prior to the contest, Canada's first professional female javelin thrower and 2012 London Olympian Elizabeth Gleadle was on hand to provide some tips to the hopefuls.
"Anybody can do it if they can just try to get the right whip on it," said Gleadle.
Sammy said he had been practicing his throw with an old smartphone since hearing about the contest online.
The trick in getting the long distance, he said, is to make sure the cellphone is thrust high into the air and spins before landing.
"You just want to get it as high in the sky as you can so it starts spinning and goes," he said.
The ex-pitcher said he plans on giving his brother $1,000 of the prize money as a wedding gift while using the rest of the cash to make a "money bed" that he could roll around in.