Throwing out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game is something of a time-honored tradition for American Presidents.
This week, the Washington Nationals extended an invitation to President-elect Joe Biden to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day in 2021, when the team takes on the New York Mets at Nationals Park.
“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 on Twitter this week.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) November 8, 2020
Biden previously threw out the first pitch during a 2009 outing between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, when he was serving as Vice President to then-President Barack Obama.
It was Opening Day at Camden Yards and Orioles catcher Chad Moeller was on the receiving end of the then-VP’s pitch.
The first President to throw out a first pitch at a baseball game was William Howard Taft, who did it in 1910.
Over the past 110 years, every sitting President with the exception of President Donald Trump has thrown out a first pitch whenever Washington D.C. had a baseball franchise of its own.
Now we know. https://t.co/1W8XNZ9n7y
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 11, 2020
When Washington D.C. did not have its own baseball team, Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton threw out first pitches for other teams.
This was President Clinton’s first pitch:
And President Bush’s:
And President Reagan’s:
Will President-elect Biden still be able to put a little mustard on the ball at the ripe age of 77?
Time will tell.