|Nationals to open domestic 2008 MLB schedule at new ballpark|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 18 December 2007 06:40|
WASHINGTON (AP) -The first Western Hemisphere game of the 2008 major league season will be played at the new Washington Nationals ballpark. And, yes, the president has been invited.
The Nationals announced Tuesday they will host the traditional Sunday night opener March 30 against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, the 41,000-seat stadium nearing completion along the Anacostia River.
The major league season begins the week before when Boston plays Oakland in a two-game series in Tokyo.
The game revives a long-standing tradition of baseball openers in the nation's capital. From 1952-71, the Washington Senators annually opened the American League schedule at home, often with the president in attendance.
The Nationals said they have already extended an invitation to President Bush to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, as he did in 2005 at the first game at RFK Stadium after the Nationals relocated from Montreal.
``I cannot think of anything more fitting than the first domestic contest of 2008 being played in the nation's capital,'' team president Stan Kasten said.
The Nationals play 18 of their first 32 games and 10 of their final 13 at home. The regular season ends with a road game at Philadelphia on Sept. 28.
Washington's interleague opponents in 2008 will be Baltimore, Texas, the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle and Minnesota.