The Baltimore Orioles should invite President Barrack Obama to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day at Camden Yards.
As we all remember, the Baltimore Orioles were square in the middle of a scrum last spring. The city of Baltimore itself was shaken at it’s very core by riots in late April. As a result, the Birds had to postphone two games, play a third in an empty ballpark, and move the following series to Tama.
Let’s not go into any of the political aspects of those riots. The fact is that they happened, and the city itself suffered big time as a result. In fact local merchants in West Baltimore were hit the hardest, and lots of small businesses closed their doors as a result.
As much as it might eventually sound as such, this column is not about politics. All of this is being said with the utmost respect, and in the most non-partisan manner as possible. At the end of the day politics merely gets in the way of real results – and what really matters is the city and it’s people.
So with that said I’m going to call on two parties to come together to do something pretty cool for the city and it’s people. One of those parties is in fact the Orioles; and the other is the White House. Humor me here a bit, people.
A couple of weeks ago on President’s Day I wrote about what I think is the
greatest tradition in sports, which is the President of the United States opening the baseball season by throwing out the first pitch. President Barrack Obama has done the honors only once to my knowledge, down at Nationals Park in DC. He also threw out the first pitch in the all-star game, but obviously that wasn’t to open the season. The last time a sitting President did the honors at Oriole Park was 1996 when President Clinton came to Baltimore on Opening Day.
In fact, both President Obama and President Bush before him seemed to scale back their appearances in ballparks. There’s no doubt that it’s tough with security and all, both for the secret service and for the fans attending the game. Many Nationals fans I know tell me that, and they tell me that it almost makes the game not worth attending. But again, humor me folks.
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So in case you haven’t put two and two together, I’m calling on the Orioles to invite President Obama to throw out the first pitch at Camden Yards on Opening Day. Regardless of where you stand politically or on the President’s job performance itself, put that aside and look at it from the perspective of “the office” as opposed to “the man.” In the wake of what happened last year, having the President of the United States come to town and throw out the first ball on Opening Day would show solidarity with the people and yes the businesses of the city of Baltimore.
And mind you, this President does seem to have an affinity for small locally-owned businesses. At every stop along the way whenever he’s left Washington he’s always made a point of stopping at some “Mom & Pops” coffee shop, diner, ice cream store, etc for lunch or even just a cup of coffee. The message to the American people is clear: support your locally-owned businesses in your communities.
As I said, lots of businesses in Baltimore were hit hard by the events of last spring. Some even closed for good as a result. President Obama throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day isn’t going to change that or make the scars of the riots go away. It’s also not going to make the crime rate go down, or make a difference in over-aggressive policing. But it would just be a show of solidarity with the city, and especially the people who were affected directly.
Again folks, this is all being said without political partisanship. Because as I said it’s “the office,” not “the man.” Having the President in town is always an honor, especially for something like what I’m describing. Yes people might have to get to the yard a bit earlier to get through security, and yes there would be extra hassles involved for lots of people – fans, players, and media alike. But…make it happen, Orioles! And Mr. President, if somehow someone in the Warehouse sees this and thinks wow, that’s a great idea!, please say yes!