WASHINGTON — Jose Andres is a popular man at Nationals Park.
The Washington restaurateur has been feeding locals since the early 1990s with his groundbreaking tapas spot Jaleo, among dozens of other outposts over the years. On Sunday, he threw out the first pitch before Game 5 of the World Series to a rousing ovation.
Andres, known not just for his food, but his humanitarian work with World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that provides meals for people after natural disasters, struck quite the pose as he took the mound.
He did the Baby Shark clap in the dugout before taking the field.
Then he donned the tinted sunglasses that outfielder Gerardo Parra and pitcher Anibal Sanchez have made famous since the early summer.
And then he lofted an eephus pitch Sanchez would be proud of into Ryan Zimmerman waiting at home plate.
The Nationals’ invitation came with an interesting subplot. Andres and President Donald Trump have long been at odds over issues near and far. Andres is a vocal critic of the administration’s immigration policy. He also pulled out of a restaurant opening at the downtown Trump International Hotel. That led to a settled lawsuit between Andres and the Trump Organization.
A naturalized U.S. citizen from Spain originally, Andres rushed to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2018 with World Central Kitchen and did the same in the Bahamas in devastating the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in September.
Trump committed to attending Game 5 of the World Series, too. He was not invited to throw out the first pitch and said publicly he didn’t want to.
Instead, he watched one of his many sparring partners handle those duties.
Andres threw out the first pitch about 10 minutes before the game started.
Trump arrived just before the first pitch. He sat in a box to the left of home plate. Five wounded veterans are among those watching the game with the president along with Republican senators, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Florida’s Marco Rubio.
With a wave to the crowd, a fist pump and a big hug for Zimmerman, Andres got Game 5 off to as good a start as possible given the news ace pitcher Max Scherzer would not pitch due to injury.
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