First President At World Series
February 20, 2012 by staff
First President At World Series, President Woodrow Wilson throwing out the ceremonial first ball, opening day, 1916
President Richard Nixon tossing out first pitch, at Washington Senators’ opening game with New York in Washington, D.C. in 1969.
President Ronald Reagan throwing out the first pitch for the first 1988 Chicago Cubs game
President George W. Bush tossing out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 3 of the 2001 World Series
The ceremonial first ball is a longstanding ritual of American baseball in which a guest of honor throws a ball to mark the end of pregame festivities and the start of the game. Originally, the guest threw a ball from his/her place in the grandstand to the pitcher or catcher of the home team. At some point[when?], this morphed into the guest standing in front of the pitcher’s mound and throwing towards (but rarely reaching) home plate, though sometimes he or she may stand on the mound (as a pitcher would). The recipient of the pitch is usually a player from the home team.
The ceremonial thrower may be a notable person (dignitary, celebrity, former player, etc.) who is in attendance, an executive from a company that sponsors the team (especially when that company has sponsored that night’s promotional giveaway), or a person who won the first pitch opportunity as a contest prize. Often, especially in the minor leagues, multiple first pitches are made.
Generally, ceremonial opening pitches are either not counted in the count, or counted as a ball. There is typically no batter.
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