The Nationals announced Monday that infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the first pitch at the Nationals' home opener against the New York Yankees on July 23.
Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is a renowned Nationals fan. He appeared on a Zoom call with Ryan Zimmerman months ago to talk about his fandom and the possible return of baseball. Fauci even wore a mask with a Nationals logo into the building for an appearance before Congress.
“I hope that there’s some form of baseball this summer, even if it’s just for TV,” Fauci told Zimmerman. “I feel that strongly, one, because I’m an avid baseball fan but also because it’s for the country’s mental health to have the great American pastime be seen.”
Fauci grew up as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan before adopting the Nationals once they returned to Washington. Earlier this offseason, he said he would choose Max Scherzer if he had to have any Nationals pitcher start a Game 7. On Thursday, he appears to have a chance to pitch just before probable starter Max Scherzer takes the mound.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director's rise in the public consciousness has coincided with his role in addressing the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, he expressed optimism that fans would be allowed back in MLB ballparks before the end of the end of the season.
Now, he's slated to throw the first pitch of the 2020 campaign during the nationally televised opener.
Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE NATIONALS NEWS: