President Donald Trump celebrated the return of Major League Baseball despite the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday at a White House event with Little League players.
The president was joined on the South Lawn by MLB Hall of Fame closer from the Yankees, Mariano Rivera, and two rows of Little Leaguers playing catch.
US President Donald Trump (R) and Mariano Rivera (L), the MLB Hall of Fame closer from the Yankees, watch youth baseball players throw the ball during a Major League Baseball Opening Day event at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 23, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Trump even grabbed a glove and tossed the ball back and forth before participating in an interview with Mariano Rivera aired on ESPN.
“To have baseball back, even though it’s an abbreviated season, to have baseball back means so much to me and the country,” Trump said.
Trump said he heard there was tremendous interest in the games being broadcast on television. Fans are not currently allowed in the stadiums.
The Washington Nationals faced the New York Yankees on Thursday night as Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out the opening pitch.
The president said that he would likely watch part of the game from the White House.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2020
During a press conference on Thursday, Trump praised the MLB’s decision to play, describing it as a great boost for Americans.
“I think it’s really good that baseball is opening. It looks like football is opening. It looks like sports are opening,” he said. “It’s a tremendous thing, psychologically, for our country.”
Trump asked Rivera about his famous pitch that shattered many bats of opposing players.
“I attribute that to the Lord. The Lord gave me that great pitch, and I learned how to use it,” Rivera said simply.