President Trump on Thursday announced that he will throw the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium on August 15.
During a White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday, President Trump praised Major League Baseball for its efforts in attempting to return one of America’s favorite past time amid the pandemic. He told reporters while hosting Yankees Hall of Fame relief pitcher Mariano Rivera to mark Opening Day that he was invited by Yankees President Randy Levine to throw out the first pitch prior to the New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox game.
“Randy Levine, he’s a great friend of mine from the Yankees,” Trump said. “He asked me to throw out the first pitch. And I think I’m doing that on Aug. 15 at Yankee Stadium.”
Trump said the return of sports was “a tremendous thing psychologically for our country” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The key is to get back to normal,” the president said. “Nobody wants to see this. I think it is really good that baseball is opening. It looks like football is opening. It looks like sports are opening. It’s a tremendous thing psychologically for our country.”
He also noted there will be no fans in the ballpark, bring up the good old days when Rivera use to make dramatic entrances and how the stadium would erupt
“It’s going to be interesting, Mariano. He’s not used to that,” Trump said. “I’ve been at many games. He walks in; the place goes crazy. I think it’d be just as good without the crowd. I’ve never seen a pitcher throw a ball where so many bats were broken as Mariano. He’s got the all-time record.”
Trump mentioned after the press briefing that he and Rivera will go greet a group of Little Leaguers outside the White House South Lawn to play catch marking baseball’s Opening Day
Trump awarded Rivera the presidential medal of freedom last year.
“He got the Presidential Medal of Freedom recently,” Trump told reporters. “I’m reading off these stats. I knew he was the best I knew he was great but I didn’t know it was almost double anybody else. But he’s a man who loves children, has children, loves children, works hard with children. We’re going to go outside and be with some little leaguers.”
Since becoming president, Trump has yet thrown out the ceremonial first pitch at any baseball game. The tradition of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch dates back to 1910, and every sitting President during his tenure has thrown the first pitch at least once.
Later Thursday evening, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert threw the ceremonial first pitch to mark Opening Day for the Washington Nationals as they hosted the New York Yankees. Wearing a Nationals-themed face mask, Dr. Fauci threw a pitch well outside the strike zone.