To celebrate the 100th anniversary of U.S. presidents tossing the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day, President Barack Obama will attend the Nationals home opener on Monday, April 5th against the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 p.m.
It will be the 48th time a President has thrown the ceremonial pitch in Washington D.C. The tradition began back in 1910 when William Howard Taft tossed the first pitch during a Washington Senators game against the Philadelphia Athletics. The Senators won that game 3-0 during a one-hit, complete game shutout by Walter Johnson. No pressure, John Lannan.
“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,” Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said in a release. Selig will be attending the game.
Pre-game festivities will begin at 12:30 p.m., so fans are encouraged to arrive early. Gates open at 10 a.m. and the first 20,000 fans to enter will receive a replica batting practice hat presented by GEICO.
Tickets are sold-out, except for sections 401 and 402 which will be available for $5 starting at 10:00am on Opening Day.
“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,” said Nationals Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner in a team release.
Cherry blossoms, baseball and the P.O.T.U.S. -- it’s definitely spring in Washington.