American presidents have been invited to throw out first pitches on major league baseball opening days for over 100 years. But if an executive for the Baltimore Orioles has his way, President Donald Trump will be barred from throwing out the first pitch at Oriole Park unless he apologizes first.
Since 1910 when President William Howard Taft became the first president to throw out the first pitch on opening day for a Washington Senators vs. Philadelphia Athletics game, every president but Jimmy Carter has taken his turn at the pitcher’s mound. But, Orioles executive vice president and chief operating officer John Angelos says he wants an apology before Trump is allowed to step up to kick the pitching rubber, according to a report at the Washington Post.
On the B-More Opinionated podcast, Angelos insisted that Trump made many untoward comments during the campaign:
Ultimately that decision is with the ownership group as to what major politicians and political figures and societal figures they want to invite. I know that the administration has taken a lot of criticism for its controversial positions; I think more so perhaps for statements made both during the campaign and since the administration came in concerning things that are considered to be problematic from a race, ethnicity, religious, gender, disability [standpoint]. People in those communities have been spoken about very negatively by a candidate and now president.
You’re asking my personal opinion; I think it’s really incumbent upon any individual who leads the country to step away from those types of statements, to apologize for those statements and retract them. And then to turn the page, and then to move forward in embracing their community, all parts of that community. Until that happens, it wouldn’t be my preference to have the president come throw a pitch. But that’s up to the ownership as to what they would like to do there.
Angelos went on to say the “first step” toward easing tensions in the U.S. is for Trump to “apologize.”
“And the first step to doing extremely well is for this person, this individual who is in the office of the presidency to retract all the outrageous things that have been said and simply do one thing: apologize,” he said. “You don’t say those things about women, you don’t say those things about different ethnic groups, different national origins, people who are disabled, all that. And if you do say them, you’re a big enough person to withdraw them and apologize.”
John Angelos has a long list of statements in support of such controversial left-wing efforts as the Black Lives Matter movement and praise for “progressivism” in American politics.
But the Orioles exec isn’t likely in a position to make any final decisions on whether or not Trump would be invited to throw out the first pitch at Orioles Park. He is, however, the son of the team’s principal owner, Peter Angelos, so he may have some influence, regardless.
As the Post notes, Peter Angelos just may be open to such a demand. The elder Angelos is an active donor to the Democrat Party and was a major contributor to an effort to draft former Vice President Joe Biden to run for president in 2016.
Despite his history of speaking up for liberal causes and his father’s massive donations to Democrats, John Angelos insists he is not a supporter of either major party. He concluded that all this campaign language that “emboldens” and “radicalizes” people needs to be changed.
“What we’ve got to do is change this political system, because that’s why we’re here,” Angelos told the podcast host. “The duopoly, because that’s why we’re here. This duopoly of parties is absurd, and it’s totally overwhelmed the political process and taken away peoples’ votes. But until that happens, I’ll meet you out there, and we’ll do a little yelling and a little advocating.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.