White House confirms President Biden won't throw first pitch at Nationals opening day

Jason Owens
·2 min read

When President Joe Biden won election last November, the Washington Nationals were eager to get him on the pitching mound. 

Shortly after Biden was declared winner on Nov. 7, the Nationals tweeted that they "look forward to hosting President-Elect Biden on Opening Day of the 2021 season."

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It wasn't so much an invitation as it was an expectation that the the newly elected most powerful man in the world would show up to Nationals Park on opening day. 

It turns out that Biden won't make the trip. This week, at least. 

White House: 'It's not on the president's schedule'

After the Nationals told The Washington Post on Tuesday that Biden would not be throwing the first pitch for Washington's home opener against the New York Mets on Thursday, the White House confirmed the news, while hinting that Biden might make an appearance at Nationals Park sometime soon.

“I know the president’s eager to get out to Nationals stadium," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during her Tuesday press briefing. "Many beautiful days, many beautiful baseball games ahead this spring. 

"It’s not on the president’s schedule this week, but I certainly expect that baseball fans will be hearing from him in next couple of days."

Does that mean that Biden — a Philadelphia Phillies fan — will make a first pitch sometime soon? That's left to the tea leaves. Psaki didn't clarify. 

History of presidential pitching performances

Sitting presidents throwing a first pitch at an MLB game is a tradition that dates back to Howard Taft in 1910. In fact, every sitting president since Taft has thrown a first pitch during his time in office until President Donald Trump broke the tradition during his four years in office.

The tradition hasn't always been tied to opening day and certainly not opening day for the Nationals, which didn't exist in their current iteration until 2005. President Barack Obama, a lefty, didn't make his presidential mound debut until the 2009 All-Star Game.

In fact, it was Biden that made the White House mound debut from the Obama administration when he threw out the first pitch for the Baltimore Orioles on opening day as vice president in 2009. 

For now, baseball is left to wait for a glimpse at Biden's form 12 years later. 

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 16:  Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States of America, is seen during pre-game introductions prior to Game One of the National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 16, 2010.  The Giants defeated the Phillies 4-3.  (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB via Getty Images)
Joe Biden, a Phillies fan, won't make his presidential mount debut this week. (Rich Pilling/MLB via Getty Images)

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