As Joe Biden addressed Americans in a victory speech on Saturday night, the Washington Nationals announced the president-elect will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day of the 2021 season.
“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 said in a statement on Saturday night.
The Nationals, who won the franchise’s first World Series title in 2018 but failed to reach the playoffs this year, are scheduled to open the season on 1 April against the New York Mets at Nationals Park.
Biden’s first pitch will continue a practice that was temporarily interrupted by Donald Trump, who will become only the second US president to not throw out a first pitch at a Major League Baseball game since William Taft began the tradition in 1910. The first was fellow one-term president Jimmy Carter.
Trump apparently was close to throwing out a first pitch earlier this year when he announced that he accepted an invitation from the New York Yankees, which reportedly came as a surprise to the American League club, which had never extended the offer. The New York Times subsequently reported Trump only made the announcement after watching Dr Anthony Fauci receiving attention for throwing one.
Fauci’s effort in July, which sailed well wide of home plate and bounced past the catcher, drew light-hearted comparisons to other public figures whose first pitches went awry through the years, including Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory, rapper 50 Cent, Olympic hero Carl Lewis, Miss Texas 2014 and Canadian pop icon Carly Rae Jepsen.
Biden last threw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles’ season opener in April 2009, early in his eight-year stint as Barack Obama’s vice-president.
The president-elect continued to move forward with planning for his forthcoming administration on Sunday, updating his official presidential transition website with vice president-elect Kamala Harris and launching a Twitter account: @Transition46.