The Washington Nationals have announced that chef José Andrés will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Game 5 of the World Series — the same game that President Donald Trump says he’ll be attending if the series goes to a fifth game.
The celebrity chef has been a critic of President Trump since before he took office. The president announced his plans to attend the game one day before the Nationals shared news of Andrés participation.
Major League Baseball said the decision on first pitches is made jointly between the host team and the MLB, according to the Associated Press.
Spanish-American chef José Andrés speaks during a “Get out the vote,” rally for Hillary Clinton rally in Tampa, Fla. in 2016. (Andres Leiva/Tampa Bay Times via AP, File)
“I’m humbled by the invitation, and I realize is a big big big honor but I really hope that by Saturday night all of WASHINGTON will be celebrating that the Nationals are the 2019 MLB World Series Champions…” the celebrity chef wrote on Twitter on Friday morning, confirming the news.
Later in the day, the 50-year-old chef joked that he might need to “practice” ahead of the event.
“Please, I don’t want anyone to be nervous but… anyone has a baseball ball? Just in case, I need to practice…” Andrés tweeted, sharing a selfie as he held a glove.
The famed D.C. restaurateur has been internationally recognized for his humanitarian work in founding World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that serves meals in the wake of natural disasters, Fox 5 reports.
Andrés and Trump previously feuded when the chef, who operates multiple eateries in Washington, D.C., withdrew from plans to open a restaurant in Trump International Hotel in Washington, following the then-candidate’s controversial comments about Mexican immigrants during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Andrés later criticized the Trump administration’s policies on immigration, as well as the federal government’s response to the devastation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
As for the World Series, Washington leads Houston 2-0 in the best-of-seven series going into Game 3 on Friday, so a Game 5 on Sunday is not yet assured.
Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday that he plans to attend the game at Nationals Park if the series goes to a Game 5.
Following the president’s announcement, a spokesperson for the Nationals previously told Fox News that Trump would not be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the game. Trump has yet to throw the customary first pitch as president. Every president since William Taft has done so.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and the Associated Press contributed to this report.