- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 12, 2005

ATLANTA — President George W. Bush will throw out the ceremonial first pitch tomorrow night for the Washington Nationals home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks at RFK Stadium.

President Bush will become the first U.S. president to throw out a first pitch in the District since April7, 1969, when Richard Nixon did so to begin the Washington Senators’ first season under manager Ted Williams and their last winning season.

?President Bush looks forward to throwing out the first pitch for the first home game of the Washington Nationals,? White House press secretary Scott McClellan said yesterday in a prepared statement. ?I’m sure he’ll warm up a little bit, throw a few pitches prior to the game.?

Last year President Bush threw out the first pitch in Busch Stadium in St. Louis and reportedly warmed up in the Cardinals’ batting cage.

William Howard Taft, the 27th U.S. president, started a tradition when he threw out the first pitch April14, 1910 before the Washington Senators opened against the Philadelphia A’s.

Including Taft’s first pitch, 11 presidents have thrown out the first pitch a combined 46 times. Bush, the 43rd president, will become the 12th to do so.

With baseball back in the nation’s capital for the first time since 1971, several former Senators will converge on RFK. Former Senators scheduled to attend include pitchers Dick Bosman, Joe Grzenda, and Jim Hannan; outfielder/manager Jim Lemon; outfielder Chuck Hinton; shortstop Eddie Brinkman; first baseman Mickey Vernon; and outfielders Roy Sievers and Frank Howard.

Staff ace Livan Hernandez will open for the Nationals against Diamondbacks right-hander Javier Vazquez.

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