President Bush delivered the ceremonial first pitch at the season opener of the Washington Nationals. Photo by Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images
by Mark Silva
More cheers than boos were heard at National Park tonight when President Bush tossed the first ceremonial pitch for the season opener of the Washington Nationals, playing host to the Braves, at the new home park of the Washington club.
After both the Braves and Nationals were introduced on the field and Denyce Graves sang the National Anthem, the two teams cleared the field. Nationals Manager Manny Acta, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and owner Ted Lerner came back on. Then Bush emerged from the Nationals' dugout to throw the first pitch.
He wore a red Nationals jacket and dark slacks.
“It seemed there were more cheers than boos, but not by much,’’ the pool reporter reported tonight. The president “walked quickly to the mound and almost immediately, with a high delivery, threw a high fastball that would have been a ball to anyone other than Yao Ming.
“Acta rose to catch it, manager and president quickly shook hands and Bush was waving to the crowd as he walked back into the dugout. The crowd reaction after the pitch was decidedly mixed.
“Bush, back in the dugout, gave the ball to team President Stan Kasten and went back up the tunnel. Bush smiled throughout, despite the boos. Bush was watching the start of the game from the owner’s box and would offer some ESPN commentary during the third inning.
With thanks to Jason Embry of the Austin American-Statesman, on pool duty with the president tonight at National Park.