Thursday, April 9, 2009

Obama Breaks 100 Year Presidential Tradition, Won't Throw Out First Pitch At 'Nats Opening Day

Still not convinced he hates America?

The Washington Times reports:

President Barack Obama won't be at Nationals Park on Monday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Washington Nationals' home opener.

According to a White House aide, Obama will decline the team's invitation to throw the pitch in the game against the Philadelphia Phillies, brushing back a presidential tradition that dates back to 1910.

The Nationals, who have a standing invitation to every president to throw out the pitch at the team's home opener every season, were told by the White House last month that Obama would attend provided his schedule didn't change because of world events.

The club announced pregame festivities for the home opener on Wednesday but made no mention of the first pitch participant. A team official declined to comment Thursday night.

Obama had also been hoping to throw out the ceremonial first pitch earlier this week at the Chicago White Sox opener against the Kansas City Royals. The lifelong White Sox fan, though, was unable to attend because he was wrapping up his first trip to Europe since taking office. He was away from the country March 31 and returned this past Tuesday after a surprise visit to Iraq.

This will be the Nationals' fifth home opener since the franchise relocated from Montreal in 2005, with only two occasions in which the sitting president threw out the ceremonial first pitch. George W. Bush performed the duty in 2005 and again in 2008. Vice President Dick Cheney took the mound for the 2006 opener.

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