WASHINGTON -- Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson said on Friday it will be a great honor to throw out the first pitch before Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the Nationals and Cardinals on Wednesday at Nationals Park.
Robinson was the Nats' first manager, guiding them to a combined 152-172 record in 2005 and '06. Their best season was in '05, when they went 81-81. Robinson also managed the Expos from '02-04. Montreal had a record above .500 in two of those three years.
Robinson said principal owner Mark Lerner approached him about the idea of throwing the first pitch, and Robinson happily accepted.
"The Lerner family and people at the upper level have continued to reach out to me and keep in contact with me and my family over the years," Robinson said. "I have no bitterness toward anyone in the organization."
The Nationals ended up having the best record in the Major Leagues this season, going 98-64. The Nats play the Cards in Game 1 on Sunday at Busch Stadium at 3 p.m. ET on TBS. Robinson has watched Washington closely and thinks the club can go far in the postseason.
"I hate to make a prediction. Every time I pick somebody at anything, they lose," Robinson said. "The Nationals have had a tremendous year. They are a solid ballclub. They have pitching and defense. They get a lot of timely hits. They hit some home runs throughout the lineup. If they can go into the playoffs and perform the way they are capable of, they will wind up in [the World Series]."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.