The Nationals, who sent a letter to Biden to renew the invitation, are opening their home campaign against the New York Mets on April 1, 2021.
William Howard Taft started the tradition of presidents who cast first place in DC on the opening day of 1910. Since then, every sitting president except Donald Trump has thrown at least one ceremonial seat in Washington when the city had a major league team, though not always during his first year in office.
Barack Obama was the last seated president to pitch an initial pitch in Washington. He declined an invitation to continue the tradition three months after his first inauguration in 2009, but did the honors on the opening day at Nationals Park the following year, wearing a Nationals jacket and Chicago White Sox hat for the occasion.
Biden, who played Shortstop and Center Field as Little Leaguer in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has experience pitching on opening day. As the newly elected vice president, the right-handed man threw ceremonial first place to usher in the 2009 season at Baltimore’s Oriole Park in Camden Yards while wearing a U.S. Army beanie.
Could Biden, a proud Phillies fan, take the hill in DC in a Phillies hat like he did during an interview with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel in March?
“This is not the way to get votes,” joked Kimmel, a Mets fan.
“But it’s the way to be able to sleep with my wife,” Biden said of future first lady Jill Biden, who walked out in the days leading up to the 2008 presidential election so she could watch the Phillies win the World Series person with her granddaughter. “She’s a Philly girl. If I wasn’t in love with the Phillies, I would be out of luck, man. ”
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