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First pitch

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Ceremonial first pitch being thrown by a Navy Sailor
The ceremonial first pitch is a longstanding ritual at most levels of baseball. The pitch is usually thrown by either a celebrity or a locally significant person. The ceremonial pitcher is given a cap and sometimes a jersey. He or she waves, takes the mound, and throws the ball toward home plate. The pitch often misses wildly or bounces to the plate. The ceremonial pitcher then retreats to the first row where they watch the game.

It is traditional for the President of the United States to throw out the first pitch of the season in one ballpark. United States President William Howard Taft started the tradition in 1910 at Griffith Stadium, Washington, DC, on the Washington Senators' Opening Day. Most Presidents since Taft have thrown out the first pitch of the season. Now that a team has returned to Washington, the President will most likely throw the first pitch there.

[edit] List of Presidential First Pitches

President Date Stadium
City
Home Team Score Away Team Notes
William H. Taft April 14, 1910 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 3 - 0 Athletics First presidential first pitch
Woodrow Wilson April 10, 1913 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 2 - 1 Yankees
Woodrow Wilson April 14, 1915 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 7 - 0 Yankees
Woodrow Wilson October 9, 1915 Baker Bowl
Philadelphia, PA
Phillies 1 - 2 Red Sox First to attend a World Series, Game 2 of the 1915 World Series
Woodrow Wilson April 20, 1916 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 12 - 4 Yankees
Warren G. Harding April 13, 1921 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 3 - 6 Red Sox
Warren G. Harding April 12, 1922 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 6 - 5 Yankees
Warren G. Harding April 26, 1923 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 2 - 1 Athletics
Calvin Coolidge April 15, 1924 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 0 Athletics
Calvin Coolidge June 26, 1924 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 0 - 1 Athletics Second game in doubleheader
Calvin Coolidge October 4, 1924 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 3 - 4 Giants Game 1 of the 1924 World Series
Calvin Coolidge October 10, 1925 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 3 Pirates Game 3 of the 1925 World Series
Calvin Coolidge April 12, 1927 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 6 - 2 Red Sox
Calvin Coolidge April 10, 1928 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 5 - 7 Red Sox
Herbert Hoover April 17, 1929 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 13 Athletics
Herbert Hoover April 14, 1930 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 3 - 4 Red Sox
Herbert Hoover April 14, 1931 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 3 - 5 Athletics
Herbert Hoover April 11, 1932 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 1 - 0 Red Sox
Franklin D. Roosevelt April 12, 1933 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 1 Athletics
Franklin D. Roosevelt October 5, 1933 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 0 Giants Game 3 of the 1933 World Series
Franklin D. Roosevelt April 24, 1934 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 0 - 5 Red Sox
Franklin D. Roosevelt April 17, 1935 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 2 Athletics The game was scheduled for April 16, but was rained out
Franklin D. Roosevelt April 14, 1936 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 1 - 0 Yankees
Franklin D. Roosevelt October 2, 1936 Polo Grounds
New York, NY
Giants 4 - 18 Yankees Game 2 of the 1936 World Series
Franklin D. Roosevelt April 19, 1937 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 3 - 4 Athletics
Franklin D. Roosevelt July 7, 1937 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
American 8 - 3 National First to attend an All-Star Game
Franklin D. Roosevelt April 18, 1938 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 12 - 8 Athletics
Franklin D. Roosevelt April 16, 1940 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 0 - 1 Red Sox Pitch hit a Washington Post camera
Franklin D. Roosevelt April 14, 1941 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 0 - 3 Yankees
Harry S. Truman September 8, 1945 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 1 Browns First left-hander
Harry S. Truman April 15, 1946 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 3 - 6 Red Sox
Harry S. Truman April 18, 1947 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 0 - 7 Yankees
Harry S. Truman April 19, 1948 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 12 Yankees
Harry S. Truman April 18, 1949 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 3 - 2 Athletics
Harry S. Truman April 18, 1950 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 8 - 7 Athletics Threw out two first pitches; one left-handed and one right-handed
Harry S. Truman April 20, 1951 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 5 - 3 Yankees
Harry S. Truman April 15, 1952 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 0 - 3 Red Sox
Dwight D. Eisenhower April 16, 1953 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 3 - 6 Yankees
Dwight D. Eisenhower April 13, 1954 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 5 - 3 Yankees
Dwight D. Eisenhower April 11, 1955 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 12 - 5 Orioles
Dwight D. Eisenhower April 17, 1956 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 10 Yankees
Dwight D. Eisenhower April 15, 1957 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 6 - 7 Orioles
Dwight D. Eisenhower April 14, 1958 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 5 - 2 Red Sox
Dwight D. Eisenhower April 18, 1960 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 10 - 1 Red Sox
John F. Kennedy April 10, 1961 Griffith Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 3 - 4 White Sox
John F. Kennedy April 9, 1962 D.C. Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 1 Tigers First game at D.C. Stadium
John F. Kennedy April 8, 1963 D.C. Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 1 - 3 Orioles
Lyndon B. Johnson April 13, 1964 D.C. Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 0 - 4 Angels
Lyndon B. Johnson April 12, 1965 D.C. Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 2 - 7 Red Sox
Lyndon B. Johnson April 10, 1967 D.C. Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 0 - 8 Yankees
Richard Nixon April 7, 1969 RFK Memorial Stadium
Washington, DC
Senators 4 - 8 Yankees
Richard Nixon July 14, 1970 Riverfront Stadium
Cincinnati, OH
National 5 - 4 American 1970 All-Star Game
Richard Nixon April 6, 1973 Anaheim Stadium
Anaheim, CA
Angels 3 - 2 Royals First opening day pitch outside of Washington, DC
Gerald Ford April 9, 1976 Arlington Stadium
Arlington, TX
Rangers 2 - 1 Twins Threw 2 first pitches
Gerald Ford July 13, 1976 Veterans Stadium
Philadelphia, PA
National 7 - 1 American Threw right-handed to Johnny Bench and left-handed to Carlton Fisk
Ronald Reagan April 2, 1984 Memorial Stadium
Baltimore, MD
Orioles 2 - 5 White Sox Threw out first pitch then watched game from the dugout.
Ronald Reagan April 7, 1986 Memorial Stadium
Baltimore, MD
Orioles 4 - 6 Indians
Ronald Reagan September 30, 1988 Wrigley Field
Chicago, IL
Cubs 9 - 10 Pirates Threw 2 first pitches, broadcast 1½ innings on the radio
George H. W. Bush April 3, 1989 Memorial Stadium
Baltimore, MD
Orioles 5 - 4 Red Sox
George H. W. Bush April 25, 1989 Anaheim Stadium
Anaheim, CA
Angels 1 - 8 Orioles
George H. W. Bush June 28, 1989 Memorial Stadium
Baltimore, MD
Orioles 2 - 1 Blue Jays
George H. W. Bush April 10, 1990 SkyDome
Toronto, ON
Blue Jays 2 - 1 Rangers First to attend a game and throw a first pitch in Canada
George H. W. Bush July 16, 1990 Memorial Stadium
Baltimore, MD
Orioles 7 - 6 Rangers
George H. W. Bush April 8, 1991 Arlington Stadium
Arlington, TX
Rangers 4 - 5 Brewers
George H. W. Bush April 6, 1992 Camden Yards
Baltimore, MD
Orioles 2 - 0 Indians First game at Camden Yards
George H. W. Bush July 14, 1992 Jack Murphy Stadium
San Diego, CA
National 6 - 13 American Threw first pitch with Ted Williams
Bill Clinton April 5, 1993 Camden Yards
Baltimore, MD
Orioles 4 - 7 Rangers First president to throw first pitch from the pitcher's mound
Bill Clinton April 4, 1994 Jacobs Field
Cleveland, OH
Indians 4 - 3 Mariners First game at Jacobs Field
Bill Clinton April 2, 1996 Camden Yards
Baltimore, MD
Orioles 4 - 2 Royals
George W. Bush April 6, 2001 Miller Park
Milwaukee, WI
Brewers 5 - 4 Reds First game at Miller Park
George W. Bush August 14, 2001 Coors Field
Denver, CO
Rockies 5 - 4 Braves
George W. Bush October 30, 2001 Yankee Stadium
New York, NY
Yankees 2 - 1 Diamondbacks
George W. Bush April 5, 2004 Busch Stadium
St. Louis, MO
Brewers 8 - 6 Cardinals
George W. Bush April 14, 2005 RFK Memorial Stadium
Washington, DC
Nationals 5 - 3 Diamondbacks
George W. Bush April 3, 2006 Great American Ball Park
Cincinnati, OH
Reds 7 - 16 Cubs
George W. Bush March 30, 2008 Nationals Park
Washington, DC
Nationals 3 - 2 Braves First game at Nationals Park
Barack Obama July 14, 2009 Busch Stadium III
St. Louis, MO
National 3 - 4 American 2009 All-Star Game
Barack Obama April 5, 2010 Nationals Park
Washington, DC
Nationals 1 - 11 Phillies 100th anniversary of W.H. Taft's first pitch
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