The Major League Baseball team in the nation’s capital has reportedly already asked President-elect Joe Biden to throw the first pitch for the 2021 season. It would not be Biden’s first, first pitch, but it would be his first as U.S. president if the results demanded by the TV stations are sustained.
The Washington Nationals have already asked Biden to throw the first pitch in their first home game of the 2021 season – if and when that happens next year. The 2020 MLB season was deflected with COVID-19, which not only cancelled the last two weeks of spring training, but also shortened the regular season by a third, played matches in front of no fans and increased the number of playoff teams.
Since Biden is betting on a regular home season in 2021, he would lose the first field of play – after probably taking over the White House. Acting President Donald Trump didn’t even do this for the 2019 World Series Champions Nationals, but Dr. Anthony Fauci threw the first pitch in COVID’s shortened 2020 season.
Biden most recently threw the first pitch of a 2009 MLB game for the season opener between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees. Biden, who played the ball as a shortstop in Little League, threw from the throw-off spot at Camden Yards and threw a high fastball that day during his first term as vice president.
The Nationals made Biden an offer to throw the first pitch of the 2021 season on Saturday, hours after he was named the next president by the Associated Press.
“We are pleased to continue the longstanding tradition of the incumbent presidents throwing the first pitch in the home of national pastime in our nation’s capital,” the Nationals posted on Twitter.
As long as Washington has a professional baseball team, a president has thrown the first pitch for that team – with the exception of Donald Trump, AP reports. It all started with President William Howard Taft in 1910.
Trump may have been in Game 5 of the World Series when the Nationals hosted the Houston Astros, but he was booed by the fans.
Here are some of the ceremonial first throws that have been thrown by U.S. presidents over the years
As this is a backwards chronological order, it starts with President Barack Obama throwing the first throw for the Nationals on April 5, 2010, adorned with a red jacket of the Nationals and a ball cap with the White Sox of his hometown Chicago.
Then there was the 43rd President, George W. Bush, who threw the first pitch in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, just a month and a half after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Bush threw the first pitch at Yankee Stadium in New York, where the Twin Towers had collapsed just a month earlier. Bush was greeted with rousing cheers from the stands.
And he threw a strike.
President Bill Clinton threw this first pitch on April 2, 1996 in Baltimore. At that time there was no team in Washington, and this was the last year of Clinton’s first term. He was received by Orioles fans with a mixture of cheers and booing. The president praised a left-hander who made it over home plate.
Just like Clinton, President George H.W. Bush was left-handed. Bush, who was an outstanding baseball player at Yale, threw out the first pitch of the 1992 season in Baltimore and hit home plate with an A. Bush’s son, who became the 43rd president after being governor of Texas and president of the Texas Rangers in baseball, was on the field that day in Baltimore in 1992.
Then there was Ronald Reagan, who threw the first pitch at a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field in September 1988. In this video, legendary Cubs announcer Harry Caray tells how Reagan came off the field in a Cubs jacket. Reagan, who played sports figures as an actor, threw it “high and inside,” as Caray called it.
The last thing we show you (before a montage of presidents since 1910) is President Jimmy Carter, who threw this impressive first pitch before Game 6 of the 1995 World Series between the Cleveland Indians and his home state of Atlanta Braves. Carter raised his left leg and threw a strike.
President Trump ended a 109-year series of presidents who threw the first pitch, but here is a video montage of those who have thrown the ceremonial ball over the past 100 years.