ARLINGTON It was a moment that nearly didn't happen Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki hurling the ceremonial first pitch before World Series Game 3.

Major League Baseball originally denied the honor to the NBA champion, saying he didn't have national appeal. But fan outrage led to a reversal.

It was unbelievable the response I got, Nowitzki told reporters. Even my Twitter blew up that day. It was just a crazy day; one time it was no-go, then it was on again. Really excited, the feedback from the fans, the whole Metroplex kind of tweeted somebody and then Major League Baseball.

Handling first pitch duties at Sunday night's Game 4 will be former President George W. Bush, a former owner of the Rangers.

Hall of Fame quarterback and Cowboys legend Roger Staubach will throw out the first pitch before Game 5 on Monday.

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