President Trump Declines To Throw Opening Day First Pitch For Washington Nationals
It has long been tradition – since 1910 in fact, the inaugural year of President William Taft – for the U.S. president to throw the first pitch of the first game of the baseball season. But amidst a flurry of controversy and with a plummeting approval rating, President Donald Trump has declined to participate in one of baseball’s most hallowed traditions.
The invite came from the Washington Nationals, hosts of former President Barack Obama‘s first Opening Day pitch in 2010.
Although it briefly looked like the President would throw out the pitch – his team was “in talks” with the Nats – CBS Sports confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that he would not.
“Due to scheduling conflict, this isn’t gonna happen,” CBS Sports MLB account tweeted in reference to a previous article saying that it would.
Update: Due to scheduling conflict, this isn’t gonna happen https://t.co/8XsI3XJAmY
— CBS Sports MLB (@CBSSportsMLB) March 28, 2017
Neither the White House or the Nationals have commented on the declined invite.
President Trump is not the first president to skip out on throwing the opening pitch during his inaugural year – Obama didn’t throw his pitch until 2010, almost a year and a half after taking the oath of office, and, after being elected in 1980, President Ronald Reagan didn’t throw his until 1984 – but under the scrutiny of Trump’s other breaks from tradition, this action looks all the more egregious.
While most Presidential first pitches have been uneventful, several have made for good history. Most notably, President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch in New York during the Yankee’s appearance in the 2001 World Series, their first appearance after the attacks of September 11. Throwing out the first pitch in 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt beaned a camera man and in 1950 President Harry Truman threw two pitches, one with his right hand and one with his left.
Whatever the scheduling conflict may be, Trump still has three more seasons to come through for this particular tradition. But who knows, maybe the president just prefers golf over America’s Pastime.
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