Obama Named Nats' Opening Day Starter

President to toss first pitch at Nationals Park

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images

    President Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park next Monday to kick off the 2010 season.

    And somewhere, Washington Capitals fans are crying in their Molsons.

    Obama (hopefully minus his "mom jeans") will toss the first pitch before the Nats and Phillies open their seasons with a 1:05 p.m. start time.

    Obama’s appearance will mark the 100th anniversary of the first time a U.S. president threw an Opening Day first pitch. On April 14, 1910, President William Howard Taft began the tradition before the Senators beat the Philadelphia Athletics. It was a game that Walter "Big Train" Johnson dominated by hurling a one-hit, complete game shutout.

    "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 MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, who will be in attendance. “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.”

    Individual tickets for the game are not available, but the Nats are offering 400 seats in section 401 and 402 for only $5 starting at 10 a.m. on game day at the 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.

    As for Caps fans, they're still waiting for the president to "Barack the Red" at the Verizon Center. Obama, a basketball fan, has yet to watch Alex Ovechkin and his teammates in person at the Phone Booth, despite an open invitation from owner Ted Leonsis and a Web site set up by a Caps blog to entice the prez to check out the action.