President Bush will throw out the first pitch for the season opener between the Nationals and Braves, thus christening the new Nationals Ballpark.
The game will be played at 8:05 p.m. ET on March 30th.
This will be the second time that President Bush has thrown out the first pitch in DC. The last time was at the inaugural game for the Nationals after relocating from Montreal on April 14, 2005 at RFK Stadium. As reported by MLB.com:
"Unless there is a national crisis, he has been warming up since December [to throw the pitch]. He is very excited about it," Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner said.
President Bush has attended four Nationals games, and the team is 2-2 in those games. The last time he was at a Nationals game was July 5, when the Nationals lost to the Cubs, 4-2.
The history of presidents attending the first game of the season for Major League Baseball in Washington, D.C. has a long and colorful history. The first time that a president threw out the ceremonial first pitch in the U.S. capitol was in 1910 by William H. Taft, followed by presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, and now, George W. Bush.
Since DC was devoid of MLB from 1972 to 2005, the tradition has been in hibernation. The last president to throw out an Opening Day pitch in the nation’s capitol before George W. Bush was Richard Nixon in 1969.