Dr. Anthony Fauci took a break from fighting the pandemic to instill some hope in the hearts of Americans — through our favorite pastime: baseball. Dr. Fauci is the country’s top infectious disease expert and the go-to for anything COVID-19 related. He is a trusted public figure, and I can only imagine how much of an honor it was to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Major League Baseball’s Opening Day.
On Thursday, July 23 Dr. Fauci became a pitcher; he tossed the honorary first pitch on the mound of Nationals Park, wearing a Washington Nationals cap, jersey, and — you guessed it — a face mask! The pitch was thrown to start off the game between the Nationals and the New York Yankees.
Unfortunately, his doctorly talents are far superior to that of his baseball ones: the 79-year-old Fauci threw a pretty bad pitch. The ball was high and very wide of the strike zone.
After his outing, Fauci joked:
It went in the wrong direction. I joked around after and said I used to be a shortstop when I played ball as a young boy and I thought I was supposed to throw to first base.
Ahead of the game, the Nationals said to MLB.com, “Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series Championship title.”
A statement from the Washington Nationals regarding Opening Day. pic.twitter.com/iejxXeAA4V
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 20, 2020
For Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to throw the first pitch offers hope to Americans concerning the re-opening of our favorite pastimes — and normal life, at this point.
Concerning the opening of Major League Baseball, Fauci commented:
When we were discussing how to open up baseball again I was one of I’m sure many people that they consulted with. And one of the things that we said was important is paramount saefty for the players and their families, safety for the personnel and saefty from anyone who might be a spectator. And what they’ve done, as we did last night, there were no spectators in the stands and the players had followed strict protocol. I think it can be done. It’s a little bit different because there are no spectators in the stands, but I think the UNited States, which is really craving for some sort of relief from the kinds of restrictions we’ve been under, would love to see baseball in any form even if just on the television.
I, for one, love to see Dr. Fauci on the television for something other than COVID-19 related news!