Jul 21, 2012, 12:55 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Chad Cordero poses with fans before throwing out the first pitch tonight.
Chad Cordero always figured he’d stand on the mound at Nationals Park in 2012 and fire a pitch toward the plate. He just never figured he’d do it wearing shorts and flip-flops, nor that he’d do it 10 minutes before the actual first pitch of a game was thrown.
“It’s just kind of weird to put on a Nationals jersey in general,” Cordero said with a laugh this afternoon. “I never thought I’d be able to come back here and throw out a first pitch. It’s cool. It’s unbelievable.”
Four years removed from his last in-game appearance at Nationals Park and a year removed from his retirement announcement, Cordero was back in D.C. tonight, honored by his former team before it played the Braves.
Still the Nationals’ all-time leader (by leaps and bounds) with 113 career saves, Cordero’s career came to a screeching halt in April 2008 when he tore the labrum in his right shoulder. Not tendered a contract by former general manager Jim Bowden following the season, the reliever did recover and return to the big leagues with the Mariners in 2010, but made only nine appearances.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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