The most famous person on the field before Thursday opening night game between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals wasn’t Aaron Judge, Max Scherzer or Gerrit Cole. It was Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert who has been so prominent in America’s response to the coronavirus.
During his time in the public eye, Fauci has made no secret of his baseball fandom, particularly his fandom of the Washington Nationals. So Fauci was picked by the Nats to throw out the first pitch of the delayed 2020 season — and he probably wants a do-over.
Fauci took the field in a Nats, jersey and cap. He had a mask covering his face, of course. He stretched out his arm a bit and then uncorked a wild first pitch. Probably a good thing there were no fans there to see it.
Ouch. The coronavirus jokes write themselves, but we’re not here to pile on a guy who has been trying to save our country during a pandemic.
Twitter, on the other hand, can be ruthless:
Dr. Fauci's first pitch was just trying to social distance from home plate.
— Kyndall (@KyndallFreer) July 23, 2020
Bases loaded, call to the dugout, Fauci or 50 Cent, who you putting on the mound
— Jason Kirk, This American Life's cornhole expert (@thejasonkirk) July 23, 2020
After that first pitch I would tell Fauci to stick to science but he doesn’t know what he’s doing there, either.
— Gary Sheffield Jr. (@GarysheffieldJr) July 23, 2020
Basketball version of Fauci’s ceremonial first pitch pic.twitter.com/MFwPBSVYsd
— Jason Collette (@jasoncollette) July 23, 2020
More from Yahoo Sports: