WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump plans on attending Game 5 of the World Series — if it becomes necessary — but the ceremonial first pitch at the game will be thrown out by a fervent critic of the president.
The Houston Astros handily defeated the Washington Nationals on Saturday, tying the series at 2-2. Sunday’s game starts at 8:07 p.m., eastern and is being broadcast on Fox.
Chef José Andrés, a noted humanitarian who has led relief efforts in Puerto Rico and other places, will throw the ceremonial first pitch. Andrés is a strong critic of Trump and pulled his restaurant out of the Trump hotel in Washington D.C. in the summer of 2015 after Trump’s anti-immigrant comments on the campaign trail. Andrés was sued for breach of contract but the suit was settled in 2017, according to The Washington Post.
The Nationals confirmed in a press release that Andrés would throw out the first pitch Sunday.
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“If a Game 5 is necessary, the Nationals will welcome chef and humanitarian José Andrés to throw a ceremonial first pitch,” the release said. “Named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in both 2012 and 2018, Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator and founder of World Central Kitchen.”
The Nationals also noted that during the government shutdown in January, Andrés opened a World Central Kitchen to feed furloughed federal workers.
Andrés said he was humbled by the invitation but also hoped that by Saturday all of Washington would be celebrating the Nationals becoming World Series champions.
According to CNN, Trump has not thrown the ceremonial first pitch at an MLB game since becoming president, making him the first president since William Howard Taft not to have thrown the ball.
A longtime New York Yankees fan who was spotted regularly at games in the Bronx, he was also a high school player with enough talent that, he has said, he drew the attention of big-league scouts.
Trump plans to arrive after the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros are underway and leave before the final out, in hopes of making his visit less disruptive to fans, according to Rob Manfred, baseball’s commissioner.