The defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals will host the Yankees for their season opener on Thursday, July 23. The team invited one of their biggest fans to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park. It definitely isn’t who you would expect, however, it will be an iconic and very timely appearance.
A statement from the Washington Nationals regarding Opening Day. pic.twitter.com/iejxXeAA4V
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 20, 2020
I don’t know about you, but when I read the headline I was not expecting “Nats super-fan” to be followed by Dr. Anthony Fauci. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and part of the White House coronavirus task force, is a self-proclaimed Nationals fan. He supports baseball’s return in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, so long as games are played free of fans. Back in April, Fauci voiced some skepticism about the possibility of an abbreviated MLB season.
“I think there is a pathway there,” he said at the time, “but it would depend on how people kept up their social distancing efforts.”
“If we do that successfully and there are no major outbreaks, I could foresee any of a number of scenarios where baseball returns”, Fauci said.
I find it very fitting that Fauci will be throwing out the first pitch at the Nationals home opener. Without Fauci’s leadership, sports did not stand a chance. The United States hasn’t done an amazing job of controlling the spread of the coronavirus. Having said that, I would hate to see where we would be without Dr. Anthony Fauci’s expertise. You best believe he will be wearing a mask when he delivers the first pitch on Thursday. And no, it is not a political statement.
The few preseason games have felt pretty weird without any fans in the seats. It’s safe to say there will be no “guess today’s attendance” game or 50/50 raffles this season. The Nationals’ season opener will take place nearly four months after the MLB season was originally scheduled to begin. Ultimately, it’s just nice to have baseball back in action.
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