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Hail to the Chief again

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.
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  1. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    I miss hearing "Hail to the Chief" on the radio for the 9th. It's never seemed right without it, ever since.

  2. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    "King Nothing" I can live without.

  3. hmm... - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Hail, then "take me out". That was fun. Good to see him up on the mound smiling.

  4. SonnyG10 - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    I enjoyed seeing the Chief again. I thought he looked a lot slimmer than I remembered.

  5. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Okay, that story made me cry. But I'm a big softie anyway. Love ya, Chief!

  6. andrew lang - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Great picture Mark! That's my youngest son in the middle and 2 of our "star" baseball players with Chad.It took a year to put this together and wasn't sure this day would ever come! Channel 9 WUSA will be airing a special segment on Chad, his wife, his family. Its certainly about a lot more than baseball.

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    It was surreal watching the 1st pitch. One of the finest persons you can ever meet.

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