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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