March 29, 2010 (Washington, DC) - President of the United States Barack Obama will throw the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. prior to the 2010 season opener between the Washington Nationals and 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," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, 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 D.C."
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, D.C. 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.
Therefore it's only fitting that 100 years later, Washington once again faces their neighbors to the north in a highly-anticipated Opening Day showdown. This year, the Nationals made various changes during the offseason, adding plenty of new faces to the roster including Catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Pitchers Brian Bruney, Matt Capps and Jason Marquis, and Second Baseman Adam Kennedy. These and other new additions will join Nationals veterans Adam Dunn, Ryan Zimmerman and John Lannan, who will take the mound against Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher Roy Halladay following pregame ceremonies that begin at 12:30 p.m.
"Across the country, Opening Day is a celebration of the return of hometown baseball and the glorious days of Spring," said Nationals Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner. "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."
Although individual tickets are no longer available, the club is offering 400 seats in sections 401 and 402 for only $5 starting at 10:00am on game day at Nationals Park Main Box Office. Due to enhanced security and an anticipated sold out crowd, fans are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy pregame festivities which include live music and kid's activities.
FAN PROMOTIONS & ENTERTAINMENT
* The first 20,000 fans to enter the ballpark will receive a replica batting practice hat presented by GEICO
* The enhanced Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk will host Miller Lite Party Nights on Opening Day and Thursday, Friday and Saturday game days throughout the season featuring:
-$5 beer specials (for the first 2.5 hours after gates open)
-Pregame entertainment featuring bands (Fridays) and DJ's (Thursdays and Saturdays)
-Opportunities to play shuffleboard, corn hole, ring toss and various other games
-Special guest appearances by celebrity bartenders
* Half Street festivities will include balloons, sidewalk art and a live band
* Concourse entertainment will include a DJ performing at CF Plaza in the NatMobile, balloon artists, face painters and more
* The Nat Pack will throw T-shirts to fans throughout the opening ceremonies and the game
Opening Day individual tickets as well as ticket packages (including season tickets, mini plans and flex plans) and parking may be purchased at www.nationals.com, by calling 202.675.NATS(6287) or by visiting the Nationals Park Main Box Office, located at Half and N Streets, SE.
Gates open at 10:00 a.m. on game day. The club will offer 400 seats in sections 401 and 402 for only $5 once the Nationals Park Main Ticket Box Office opens at 10 a.m. on Opening Day.
GETTING TO THE BALLPARK
Parking options for Nationals fans range in price from $5 to $40 and are available online at www.nationals.com/waytogo. Fans are encouraged to purchase parking in advance to ensure they receive a space in their desired zone.
Other transportation options include:
-Metro - Nationals Park is located at the Navy Yard station (Half Street exit) on Metro's Green Line.
-Metrobus - Six Metrobus routes (70, P1, P2, V7 V8 and V9) serve stops near the ballpark.
-DC Circulator Bus - Runs every 10 minutes from Union Station to the ballpark.
-Potomac Riverboat Company - Guests travelling from Alexandria, Va., can take the new water taxi service which departs one hour prior to the first pitch.
SECURITY & GATE INFO
Due to enhanced security and an anticipated sold out crowd, the Nationals encourage fans to arrive an hour to two hours earlier than normal. Gates will open at 10:00 a.m. to allow fans more time to enjoy the ballpark and opening ceremonies, as well as help reduce the risk of having to stand in line at each gate.*
To ensure everyone is in their seats before opening ceremonies begin for this televised event, please consider the following when planning to attend the game on Monday:
-Arrive at the ballpark extra early
-Consider taking public transportation instead of driving to the game
-Leave backpacks, bags and extra items at home
*Be one of the first 20,000 fans to enter the park and receive a replica batting practice hat presented by GEICO
OPENING DAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
10:00 a.m. - Gates open - fans are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy the newly-enhanced Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk as well as ballpark concessions that will open at 10 a.m.
12:30 p.m. - Pregame Ceremonies:
-Introduction of the On-Field Host: James Brown, Host, "THE NFL TODAY" on CBS
-Random Act of Red Recognition: Nationals will honor Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department and United States Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance for their assistance in the relief efforts following the earthquake that struck Haiti.
-Giant flags will be unfurled by the DC National Guard
-Armed Forces Color Guard will present the colors
-National Anthem sung by US Navy Sea Chanters
-Silver Slugger Award & Gold Glove Award Presentation: Ryan Zimmerman will be presented with these distinguished awards
-Ceremonial First Pitch: President Obama
-5 Generals from each branch of the military and 5 Wounded Warriors will also be on the field for the First Pitch
-Umpire Intro/Line-Up Delivery: George Will, Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist/author
-Starting Nine: Children of deployed soldiers will take the field
-Play Ball Announcer: Miss America 2010 and former Nat Pack member Caressa Cameron make the announcement. She will also sing God Bless America during the 7th inning.
1:05 p.m. - Game Time
* Tickets are still available as the Nationals continue their three-game series with the Phillies on Wednesday, April 7 at 7:05 p.m.
* Tickets are currently available at www.tickets.com for summer concerts at Nationals Park including:
-The Eagles featuring Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban (Tuesday, June 15)
-Dave Matthews Band (Friday, July 23)