Dr. Fauci to throw 1st pitch at Nats' opener

July 22nd, 2020

WASHINGTON -- The inaugural ceremonial first pitch of the 2020 Major League Baseball season will be thrown out by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The Nationals announced on Monday that Fauci, whom they described as a “super-fan” of the organization, has accepted the invitation to take the mound at Nats Park on Thursday evening when they host the Yankees on Opening Day. Reliever Sean Doolittle will catch the pitch.

“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,” the team said in a statement.

Fauci grew up in Brooklyn and has lived in Washington for 50 years. He was among those who delivered congratulatory messages for the virtual ring-design unveiling in May. He has also been photographed wearing a Nats face mask.

Following Fauci’s appearance, prerecorded performances of the national anthem by D.C. Washington and "God Bless America" by Sergeant Major Bob McDonald of United States Army Chorus will be played. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will then get the game underway with the “Play ball!” announcement.

First pitch between the Nationals and Yankees is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET, when Max Scherzer takes the mound against Gerrit Cole.