Video: Dr. Anthony Fauci Throws out 1st Pitch Before Yankees vs. Nationals

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reacts after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of the first inning of an opening day baseball game between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

It seemed only fitting that the first pitch of the shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season was thrown by someone who has been so integral in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, threw out the first pitch at Nationals Park prior to Thursday’s game between the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees:

ESPN @espn

Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out the first pitch before the Nationals-Yankees game. https://t.co/04Tbkh7Voa

“Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series championship title,” the Nationals said in the announcement when it was revealed he would throw out the pitch.

Fauci is a loyal Nationals fan and even wore a mask styled after the team while testifying before a House committee as part of the coronavirus task force:

ABC News @ABC

Dr. Anthony Fauci wears a Washington Nationals face mask as he and other members of the White House coronavirus task force arrive to testify before a House committee. https://t.co/T4P7GkPkTF https://t.co/OiHAEHVOFt

He will be cheering on the team in its World Series title defense in what will be an unusual season with a 60-game sprint to the playoffs after play was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.