Tonight marks the official beginning of major league baseball. The ceremonial first pitch of the season is usually thrown by the President but this year it will be Anthony Fauci. The Washington Nationals home stadium in Washington DC will be host to the kickoff game of the season. It’s not clear if the league reached out to the President to see if he wanted to throw the first pitch but it seems Fauci was the right man for the job.
The President has been critical of major league sports of all kinds. The wave of athletes who choose to kneel when the US National Anthem is played has become a disgraceful display. The President stiffed the league last year when the World Series took place in Washington DC. He stated that it was his choice not to throw an opening pitch for the world series but he did attend a game.
Anthony Fauci is the Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases. The Washington Nationals selected and made their announcement on Monday. The team issued a public statement when they made the announcement:
“Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series Championship title,”Washington Nationals Press Statement
The league has been in a state of hiatus. Baseball typically starts in April but the nationwide pandemic shutdowns have complicated events and travel. All sports leagues have had to cease operations and focus on reinventing their methods of competing. At this point the season has been cut 3 months short and several teams are still struggling to make plans.
The Toronto Blue Jays have had exceptional levels of trouble. They’re a Canadian franchise who competes in a league of mostly US based teams. Travel across the border has been seriously restricted and requires long quarantine periods. The team has been desperately trying to find a temporary home within the US but various cities have denied them. The franchise owns a small minor league field in upstate New York but they will still need clearance from the American municipality.