ATLANTA -- President George W. Bush has accepted the Nationals' invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at their regular-season home opener against the Diamondbacks on Thursday at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.
President Bush, an avid baseball fan and former co-owner of the Rangers, will become the first president to throw out the first pitch in Washington, D.C., since Richard Nixon in 1969.
Bush will become the 12th president to attend an Opening Day game involving a Washington team.
According to White House press secretary Scott McClellan, President Bush, "looks forward to throwing out the first pitch for the first home game of the Washington Nationals. I'm sure he'll warm up a little bit, throw a few pitches prior to the game."
Nationals catcher Brian Schneider will catch the first pitch.
"There's going to be so much excitement. There is so much stuff going on at the stadium," Schneider said. "I've never been a part of the game where a president has thrown out the first pitch for Opening Day. It's pretty neat stuff. I'm looking forward to all the festivities that go on before the game, too."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.