Obama benched for opening day's first pitch

President Obama throws out the first pitch at Nationals Park in Washington April 5, 2010, on baseball's opening day.
AFP/Getty Images

Don't expect the commander in cleats to trot out to the mound on baseball's opening day.

President Obama isn't on Thursday's roster to toss the ceremonial first pitch of the 2011 season for Washington's home team, according to the Washington Nationals website.

Redford to throw 1st pitch at Wrigley Field

The president, a Chicago White Sox fan, hasn't been able to avoid criticism when he steps out of the political arena and on the sports field.

With a cringe-worthy high and wide pitch last year at Nationals Park, the First Southpaw marked the centennial anniversary of President William Howard Taft throwing the first pitch of Washington's 1910 season.

(Watch at left)

(Mr. Obama's first time on the mound while in office happened at the 2009 All-Star Game.)

Conservatives complained when Mr. Obama took the time to fill out a March Madness bracket and film a related segment for ESPN, yet a headline on a Fox News website questioned whether the president was chickening out of lacing up and taking to the mound.

The Nationals announced that Thursday's ceremonial first pitch against the Atlanta Braves will actually be five pitches thrown simultaneously by the five flag officers representing each branch of the military.

Former President George W. Bush, accompanied by former President George H.W. Bush, threw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 4 of the World Series last fall in Texas. The San Francisco Giants shut out the Texas Rangers 4-0 that night and went on the win the series the following night.

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com

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