- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith is leading a campaign to make opening day of the Major League Baseball season a federal holiday.

The effort, backed by Anheuser-Busch Inbev, is to collect at least 100,000 signatures on the White House’s “We the People” website, which would warrant an official response from the president, New York’s CBS affiliate reported.

“Coming from St. Louis, of course being such as baseball town, it’s sort of an unofficial holiday, opening day, so they thought it would be a good idea for Mr. Smith to just take a trip to Washington,” Smith said Tuesday.

Anheuser-Busch InBev said 10 percent of survey takers said they had skipped work to attend or watch an MLB opener.

“I don’t know exactly what the odds of success are. With the Budweiser machine behind it, I’m sure that we’ll get the 100,000 signatures,” he said.

Smith, 59, played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1982 to 1996 after spending his first four seasons with the San Diego Padres. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.