Happy Opening Day! This day has seen its fair share of officials throwing out the ceremonial first pitch in previous years.
The first president to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game was President William Howard Taft in 1910. Every president from Taft to John F. Kennedy threw a ceremonial first pitch at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Here’s a list of elected and appointed officials who are throwing out ceremonial first pitches of the 2023 MLB season:
Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova is set to throw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals’ home opener against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.
Markarova will be joined on the field by her daughter, Anna, as well as Oleksandr Rozhkov, Military Attaché at the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States.
“I am honored to start this Opening Day, and I am sincerely grateful to all Americans for standing with Ukraine as we fight for our homes, dignity, freedom, and independence. This war has already claimed the lives of hundreds of Ukrainian athletes and coaches, including one baseball player who fought within the ranks of Ukrainian armed forces,” Markarova said.
Markarova was appointed Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. in 2021.
Greg Abbott and George W. Bush
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and former President George W. Bush will join Lt. Reuben T. Mankin, who will throw the first pitch at Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Abbott threw out the first pitch in 2020 on video when fans were not allowed at games due to Covid-19. In 2021, Abbott backed out of an opening day first pitch with the Rangers over MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
Before serving as governor, Bush served as one of the managing general partners of the Rangers. Bush, along with other partners, combined to buy the team in 1989 for $89 million.
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