Nats make their pitch to Biden, invite him to throw 1st ball

Sports

FILE – In this April 6, 2009, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden throws out the first pitch prior to the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees opening day baseball game at Camden Yards in Baltimore. The Washington Nationals have invited President-elect Biden to throw out the ceremonial first ball when they host the New York Mets at Nationals Park on opening day next season. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals are making their pitch to President-elect Joe Biden.

The Nats have invited Biden to toss out the ceremonial first ball next season on opening day. Washington is scheduled to host the New York Mets at Nationals Park on April 1.

“We’re excited to continue the long-standing tradition of sitting Presidents throwing out the first pitch at the home of the national pastime in our nation’s capital,” the team posted on Twitter this weekend.

Biden last threw out a first ball as vice president, in 2009 when the Baltimore Orioles hosted the New York Yankees on opening day at Camden Yards. The right-hander threw a high fastball that brought O’s catcher Chad Moeller out of his crouch.

Biden, a Little League shortstop who later played center, has frequently been around ballfields. He saw the Phillies a few times in the postseason, including the 2009 World Series, watched Philadelphia play at Washington in 2012, has visited the Yankees at spring training and attended the Little League World Series.

William Howard Taft began the tradition of presidents throwing out the first pitch in Washington in 1910. Since then, every sitting president except Donald Trump has thrown out a first pitch when Washington had a major league franchise.

Trump attended Game 5 of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park and was booed when introduced as Houston played Washington.

When there wasn’t a team in Washington, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton tossed baseballs while in office at other big league parks.

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