The Washington Times - August 19, 2009, 08:37PM

Stephen Strasburg’s first appearance at Nationals Park has the potential to become a full-blown frenzy.

The recently signed No. 1 draft pick will make his public debut with the Nationals Friday afternoon during a press conference along the third-base line that will be open to media and fans alike.


The Nationals announced plans for the event today, then put on sale special $1 tickets to Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers that include admission to the 2 p.m. press conference. All 6,000 tickets made available online sold out by Wednesday evening. Another 1,000 will be available at the gates Friday starting at noon.

The press conference will be followed by a Q&A session between fans and members of the Nationals’ front office, including acting general manager Mike Rizzo.

Strasburg, the former San Diego State right-hander touted as the top pitching prospect in a generation, agreed to a record-setting, four-year, $15.1 million contract with Washington less than two minutes before Monday night’s deadline.

He’s due to spend the weekend in town meeting with members of the Nationals organization and touring the city before heading to Viera, Fla., to begin getting his arm in shape for the Florida instructional league and then the Arizona Fall League.

Team officials have signed it’s highly unlikely Strasburg will pitch in the majors this season.

“He’s excited to meet everybody in D.C.,” Rizzo said. “And he’s just really looking forward to putting the hoopla behind him and starting his baseball career.”