No Opening Day for the White House
Obama signs a baseball at last year's opening day
March 31st, 2011
12:56 PM ET

No Opening Day for the White House

WASHINGTON (CNN) – It may be Opening Day of baseball season, but the White House is conspicuously not taking part.  No ceremonial first pitch from the President this year.

Neither President Barack Obama nor Vice President Joe Biden have the nation’s pastime on their schedules today, marking the first time in the administration that Opening Day ceremonies won’t have White House participation.

Last year, President Obama threw out the first pitch when the Washington Nationals took on the Philadelphia Phillies, marking the beginning of the 2010 baseball season. Although a White Sox fan, the president wore a Nationals jacket while doing the honors. The pitch was, in his words “a little high and outside.”

In 2009, President Obama missed Opening Day when he made a surprise stop in Baghdad on his way home from an international trip that included England, France, Czech Republic and Turkey. Instead, Vice President Biden was the guest of honor at Camden Yards in the season-opener between the Orioles and the New York Yankees.

Presidents have been throwing out the first pitch for more than one hundred years. William Howard Taft started the tradition of the first pitch for Opening Day in 1910 when he pitched from the mound at a Washington Senators game. Every president except for Jimmy Carter has taken part in the tradition ever since.


Topics: President Obama • The Buzz • White House

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soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. emmy skadittle

    everytime the President has a little fun, the republican idiots say all he does is goof off. he is expected to be working 24/7 without a break

    March 31, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Che-3

      Right On Baby!
      Let the Bonehead "Bill in STL" eat his heart out.
      He's just an illegal alien in US.

      April 4, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • john

      24/7? He has had more vacations since he has been in office (including his wife and kids) than I have had in my lifetime.

      April 4, 2011 at 11:31 am |
      • maine liberal

        Just how many vacation days has he taken or are you just making this up.
        Bush had over 400 days at his ranch and 400+ at camp david

        Wait till frox news reports that by missing opening day this is proof he was not born here and is anti-american

        April 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Sorry Che-3 ... not illeagal .... shouldn't you be riding your motorcycle all over S. America?

      April 4, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  2. Bill in STL

    emmy – what a bonehead comment. Please re-read the article. No comment was made about political parties except by you. If the White House chooses not to participate that is the current presidents choice. It is a shame that a 100 year old tradition was broken... but what the hey! Perhaps we can start a new tradition... say throwing out the game ball for baskeball or football?? Bet they would not miss that!

    March 31, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Robert

      @Liz Carter, this tradition was broken before by Jimmy Carter so Obama didn't break the 100 year tradition. Carter did. Not a big deal really, I don't see why this is such a big deal tbh. He didn't throw a pitch, big deal. Granted, it was a tradition, but it is a tradition that isn't very good to be honest. lol

      April 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  3. webbgoalie7

    Bill, I think you need to re-read the article. It was not something that happened every year. This is just the first time the Obama Administration did not throw out a first pitch on Opening Day.

    March 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Oh yeah ... forgot about the peanut farmer..... Sorry about that.... Ah well a 96 year trarition then....

      April 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  4. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @emmy, your observation is correct, but not for this thread. The media and antagonists are complaining this time, believe it or not, because OBAMA didn't participate in the traditional 'opening pitch'! I'm sure had he even decided to go out and do it, the media and all of its' babbling lunatics; the 'REPUKEBLICANTS', the 'TEADRINKERS', and the trouble-stirring, OBAMA-HATING blogger politicians more certainly would be angry he took a break to do that! 'HE SHOULD BE KEEPING HIS FOCUS ON LIBYA'! TOO MUCH FUN!

    March 31, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Liz, why start with the name calling? Why perpetuate the hate that has so consumed this country?

      April 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  5. Che-3

    To "Bill in STL"
    Are you an illegal alien in USA that doesn't know the stupidity of Racist Tea Baggars and imbecilic Neo-Con GOP and their girly childish ridiculous arguments? Tea Bag Bonehead what stone did you crawl from under?

    April 4, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Che-3. You are a troll. No doubt abouit it... Re read my post .... I said if that is his choice then so be it.... a shame about the tradition though... I also said that if it was basketball or football they would not miss that chance.... So what of it... I meant every word ... and I did not blame anyone... Just made some observations.... sorry you don't like it... BTW with a handle like CHE-3 english must be your second or third language

      April 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  6. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I don't believe that one bit unless you're like me, who was a working stiff and had to work to pay my bills; couldn't afford to take many vacations in those 32 years that I worked! My career was one that I chose! I applied for it, completed and passed the test, got the job! I was alone and had to work! Who's fault was that? I never once accused any of the US PRESIDENTS of going on more vacations than I did in my lifetime. I worked under at least 6. Never did I blamed any of them for my inability to vacate!

    April 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Liz, I am much the same. It is all choice... The part that agravates me are all the trolls

      April 4, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Bill, what name-calling have I used other than the 'babbling lunatics'? That is about the most sincere, most descriptive reference that I can come up with pointing to the media, the 'analysts', the journalists, editors, and many of the ill-informed bloggers. I have been called some names, but that's OK! Do you mean the titles I devised from proper names of groups? However, I don't see how you can call me on that when you actually called people in this thread 'peanut farmer', 'troll' and 'bonehead'!

    April 5, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Bill

      yes ... and I am an equal opportunity name caller.... when a person makes a bone head statement ... then I say so .... you and other like you "group" all conservatives into the Neo-Con, Rethugicans, Republican'ts, Obama-hating category.

      And that has been exactly my point.....

      We all have different points of view.... In the past those difference were our strength... now they are our evils. BOTH sides are guilty of that ... I have begun criticizing both sides for their boneheaded approach to things.

      If you don't like it ... Well to bad so sad ... live in the past!

      April 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Bill

      Troll is the common term for someone that is looking to make trouble. So having used the term, I am bad? When it is used regularly by both sides. (BTW I believe that politically rabid people are all trolls). Peanut Farmer (LOL) that is what the country called him back in the 80's..... kinda like Tricky Dick..... LOL ;)

      I believe that I have addressed your concerns.... Oh BTW ... "you" Devised those names ... shades of of Al Gore and the internet!!!! those terms have been around since a conservative had the audacity to insult a liberal..... LOL

      April 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  8. Robert

    Wow...the rate at which this discussion became incoherent and mean-spirited has to be a record.

    April 6, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  9. Bill

    Liz .... lets try this one

    the 'REPUKEBLICANTS', the 'TEADRINKERS', and the trouble-stirring, OBAMA-HATING blogger politicians

    Does that qualify?

    April 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Bill

      Face it ... those are names you said with the express intent of stirring things up...

      April 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  10. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Oh, I just saw your response. The only point I was calling you on BILL, is the gall that you had to call me on 'name-calling' when you're guilty of the exact same thing! It doesn't matter when or where they were originated, and by whom; the point is you are NOT the one who could possibly think of calling anyone on that! I, like you and everybody else have the right to my personal convictions, my personal opinions; relaying those opinions as descriptively as I please! As long as they don't hurt or kill, sir!

    April 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm |