Today, Mayor de Blasio faces a critical test: Will he be able to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at today's Mets home opener without embarrassing himself? He Tweeted this photograph (above) at Mets starter Dillon Gee, "Hey @DillonGee35 - how's my form? #letsdothis #GoMets cc: @JoeandEvan"
De Blasio will be heading to Citi Field this morning to get ready for the Mets game against the Nationals—he has a media availability at 11:45 a.m. and then the first pitch is at 1:06 p.m. (though on de Blasio time, it'll probably be around 1:22 p.m.). He'll watch at least some of the game.
Throwing the first pitch on opening day is a rite of passage for mayors. CityRoom has some history:
We asked Sam Roberts, a longtime reporter for The Times, to remember first pitches gone by.
“Koch hated baseball, never stayed more than a few innings at most,” Mr. Roberts told us.
“Dinkins, of course, liked tennis most.”
“Giuliani was a die-hard Yankees fan.”
(Yet he too threw out ceremonial pitches at Mets games.)
“Bloomberg was pretty indifferent.”
“Mayors are traditionally booed,” Mr. Roberts said. “I can’t remember one that actually was cheered.”
De Blasio may be booed for how he handled the snow, charter schools or his allegiance to the Red Sox.
Here's President Obama throwing out the first pitch of the 2009 All Star Game, and Fox News quickly pointed out it barely made the catcher's mound.
Of course, that was nothing like Jon Stewart's admittedly shameful performance for the Mets:
And a Mets FYI: Daniel Murphy won't be in the starting lineup because his wife went into labor.