President Obama to throw out first pitch on Opening Day
The entryway in the Presidents Club right behind home plate chronicles the storied history of past Presidents throwing out ceremonial first pitches.
The Nationals will be able to add another photo to the iconic display when President Barak Obama throws out the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park prior to the 2010 season opener against the defending National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, April 5 at 1:05 p.m.
“Opening Day of the baseball season is a special event for our country and its importance has been reinforced by the 100-year history of Presidential participation,” Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said , who will be in attendance for the historic First Pitch. “I am proud that President Obama will continue the long Presidential tradition of throwing out the first pitch of Opening Day in Washington, DC”
Obama’s appearance will mark the 100th anniversary of the first time a U.S. President threw an Opening Day first pitch and the 48th time a President has done so in Washington, DC. On April 14, 1910, William Howard Taft began the tradition before the Washington Senators went on to defeat the Philadelphia Athletics 3-0 behind a one-hit, complete game shutout by Hall-of-Fame Pitcher Walter Johnson.
It’s only fitting that 100 years later, Washington once again faces their neighbors to the north in a highly-anticipated Opening Day showdown.
“Across the country, Opening Day is a celebration of the return of hometown baseball and the glorious days of Spring,” Nationals Owner Theodore N. Lerner said. ”It’s a time of renewed hope and optimism for fans everywhere. The Lerner and Nationals family are honored that President Obama will mark that moment with us at the home of the National Pastime in the Nation’s Capital.”
President Obama will add to the impressive resume of Presidents who have helped promote the National Pastime in the Nation’s Capital:
· Presidents Ronald Regan, George H. W Bush and Bill Clinton all threw out first pitches for the Baltimore Orioles
· When the Expos became the Nationals in 2005, President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at RFK Stadium
· President John F. Kennedy threw out the first pitch for three consecutive seasons for the Washington Senators
· Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, Woodrow Wilson and Dwight Eisenhower all threw out first pitches at Griffith Stadium
· President Roosevelt tossed an unprecedented eight Opening Day first pitches at Griffith Stadium