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Obama to throw out first pitch

Mar 29, 2010, 3:55 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — President Barack Obama will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Nationals' Opening Day game against the Phillies on Monday, Major League Baseball and the club have announced.

This is Obama's first visit to Nationals Park since taking office last year, though he did throw out the first pitch at last summer's All-Star Game in St. Louis. In the last year, the president has attended three sporting events in Washington: home basketball games for the Wizards game, Georgetown game and George Washington.

Obama's appearance at Nationals Park will come 100 years after William Howard Taft became the first U.S. president to throw out a first pitch, kicking off a tradition that has withstood for a century.

Obama will become the 13th sitting president to attend a home opener by a Washington baseball club. The others: Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. Between them all, they will have attended 48 home openers in the District.

Bush attended five Nationals games between 2005-2008. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the first home games played at RFK Stadium (April 14, 2005) and Nationals Park (March 30, 2008). He also attended three other games without appearing on the field (June 24,Read more ยป

  1. peric - Mar 29, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    BTW Mark,The web page appears to be broken.

  2. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 29, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    How so? I don't see any problems when I look at it? Anyone else having issues?

  3. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Looks fine to me.Good to hear Obama will be there, keeping a pretty cool tradition alive.

  4. Doc - Mar 29, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    Let it be noted for historical record,with Obama included, that the presidential rotation of the last 5 presidential pitchers has included 4 lefties! This is an indication of arm preference, not political persuasion, speaking as a lefty, and righty.

  5. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    Hey Mark, further to Peric's remark, your banner at the top of the page isn't appearing. It may be because I'm using Firefox, but its the first time this has happened (for me). Keep up the awesome posts!

  6. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 29, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Hmm, I use Firefox too and the banner looks fine. Things are loading a bit slow, might be a blogspot issue. Keep me posted, everyone, if there are any major issues and I'll try to figure out if there's anything I can do on my end.

  7. Jaxpo Nat - Mar 29, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    Just saw Christ Coste was released by the Mets. If I recall correctly, the Nats expressed some interest in him prior to signing pudge… any chance the Nats bring him on to replace Nieves?

  8. Jaxpo Nat - Mar 29, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Chris, not Christ… boy, have to have that slip psychoanalyzed.

  9. Edward - Mar 29, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    Why does he need analysis? We already have a Jesus on the team!

  10. peric - Mar 29, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Still losing images Mark. It may be a server issue. I am using Safari. I did a hard reset on it and I am still having problems getting your photos and banners.

  11. peric - Mar 29, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    Yep, nothing seems to help at my end. Might as well post this since it is raining. Fun making the "natives" restless in the thunder and lightening. Here is John Sickel's sleeper alerts for the Nats:Nathan Karns, RHP, Washington NationalsPat Lehman, RHP, Washington NationalsThey're the only 2.

  12. Mrs. Zuckerman - Mar 29, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Two of the photos didn't load when I first pulled up the page, but they're here now. Good ol' Google likes to mess with us every so often just to make sure we're paying attention.

  13. Jaxpo Nat - Mar 29, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Called that one [pats self on back]… see, this journalism stuff isn't so hard ;)

  14. raymitten - Mar 29, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    According to the Newark Star Ledger, the Nats did in fact claim Coste.

  15. peric - Mar 29, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    I guess Chris Coste will be down in Syracuse / Harrisburg etc. mentoring the young catchers.

  16. Positively Half St. - Mar 29, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    I don't know that Coste can go to SYR. He was claimed off waivers, otherwise he would have gone to the Mets' AAA team. It seems to me that he has to be on the 25-man roster. He essentially was out of options.

  17. peric - Mar 29, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Third catcher coming off the bench? Interesting choice. Basically he is Seth Bynum catching.

  18. Jaxpo Nat - Mar 29, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    Personally, I'd cut Nieves and go with Pudge and Coste.

  19. peric - Mar 29, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    MLB trade rumors claims that the Rangers almost made a deal for Guzman. Rizzo drives those hard bargains and the Rangers are the richest team prospect wise. Its a shame. They are looking for a backup corner infielder. Wonder if Willy Harris's name has been bandied about? There's also AG. I suspect Willy has more value … might be why AG, Bruntlet are still there. Plus Taveras along with Bernadina to go with Morse.

  20. peric - Mar 29, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    MLBTradeRumors claims that Texas has been talking trade with the Rizzo and the Nats. Almost traded for Guzman. Texas is the most prospect rich team right now. I can imagine the hard bargaining Rizzo making that difficult … LOL But now they are looking for a corner infielder utility guy. And Willy Harris name must have popped up. Wonder if that's why we still have Bruntlet, AG, Bernadina, Tavares to go with Morse still on the roster?

  21. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    fwiw, I've not noticed any problems with the site with any browser that I used today.

  22. Matthew - Mar 29, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    great post. it's kind of crazy (and oddly encouraging) to think that 100 years ago, when taft was doing his thing, blacks were second class citizens throughout the country, and were decades away from even being able to play major league ball. this year, a century later, a black president throws out the first pitch for the nats. cool.

  23. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Matthew, Just to expand on that idea, our President will be throwing to a Latin catcher who were historically part of negro baseball leagues. Another major step for mankind :).

  24. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    "Obama did not participate last season because he was in Europe attending a G-20 summit."Wasn't Obama doing the Easter Egg roll on opening day 2009?PB

  25. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 29, 2010 at 11:29 PM

    Actually, I was mistaken. Obama did not throw out the first pitch at the White Sox opener because he was in Europe at the G-20 summit. He was back in D.C. in time for the Nats' opener but declined the invitation.

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