TOP doc Anthony Fauci made a wayward first pitch during the shortened Major League Baseball season – after admitting he was “nervous.”
On Thursday, the disease expert made his baseball debut by throwing the ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals, who are the defending world champs.
Anthony Fauci, First Pitch Mechanics. pic.twitter.com/QxszDQJDuu
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was decked out in Nationals attire as they took on the New York Yankees in Washington DC this evening.
“Anthony Fauci, First Pitch Mechanics,” ESPN’s Rob Friedman captioned the video of the top doc throwing the ball.
The highly-anticipated season was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and Fauci kicked it off in front of an empty stadium today.
Previously, the White House Task Force member – and baseball fan – admitted that he was apprehensive about his pitching skills, however.
“I’m quite nervous about it,” Fauci told the Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman, who is sitting out the season in light of COVID-19.
World Series Champion Ryan Zimmerman gives Dr. Anthony Fauci a pep talk before his #OpeningDay first pitch.
(Which, by the way, is TOMORROW.)@MLB // #NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/zoVNU3jUw8
“Okay, well don’t worry about it,” Zimmerman responded during the interview. “If you bounce it, there’s nobody there to boo you. So, you’ll be good to go.”
Before Fauci showed off his wayward pitching skills, Donald Trump told reporters he was excited to get sports back on the field.
Speaking at a July 23 press briefing, the President revealed that he would be throwing the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on August 15 in a game against Boston Red Sox.
“I think it’s really good the baseball is opening,” Trump said. “It looks like sports is opening.
“It’s a tremendous thing psychologically for the country.”
The game will return after months of talks between team owners and players, reports say.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred shortened the season to 60 games from 162 when no one would agree.
ABC News reported that while players wanted more games due to their reduced games, owners wanted less to cut costs.
It will be played in empty stadiums, with cardboard spectators, faux crowd noises, masked players, and pitchers with personal rosin bags to mitigate the spread of COVID.
Elsewhere, the San Francisco Giants will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers today.
On Friday, the Braves will be battling the Mets, the Brewers will take on the Cubs, and the Angels will play the Athletics.