Acta to catch Bush's first pitch at opener
Zimmerman to accompany president onto field on Sunday night
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Nationals team president Stan Kasten confirmed on Friday that manager Manny Acta will catch President George W. Bush's ceremonial first pitch on Sunday night before Washington takes on the Braves at the new Nationals Park.
Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will accompany President Bush onto the field.
"[The Lerner group] thought it would be appropriate to represent our team and the youth of out team [with] Ryan Zimmerman, [who] would be a good person to accompany the president," Kasten said. "The strength of our team is our leader -- manager Manny Acta. Those choices seem obvious to us. It has always been our thinking."
Said Acta on catching the president, "I feel honored by the Lerner family, Stan, [general manager] Jim [Bowden] and the team to choose me to do this. It's an honor, obviously, but there is more to life than being a trivia question."
The occasion will mark the second time President Bush has thrown out the ceremonial first pitch at a Nationals game. The first one occurred on April 14, 2005, when Washington played its first game at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.
President Bush has attended four Nationals games, and the team is 2-2 in those games. The last time he was at a Nationals game was July 5, 2007, when the Nationals lost to the Cubs, 4-2.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.