Local soldier meets Obama at baseball game

Published 4:33 pm Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Washington Nationals were upended 11-1 by the Philadelphia Phillies on Opening Day Monday, but that didn’t make the day any less memorable.

Clad in a red Washington Nationals jacket and a black Chicago White Sox hat, President Barack Obama threw out the 2010 baseball season’s first pitch – well high and outside over the left-handed batters box.

As Obama walked from the dugout the with Nationals owner Theodore Lerner trailing behind, Obama shook hands with four wounded military members lining a red carpet.

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One of those soldiers was Demopolis’ Casey Morrison.

Less than a week after receiving a Purple Heart for the injuries he incurred while serving his country in Marjah, Afghanistan, Demopolis native Casey Morrison received word of another honor headed his way.

Morrision, the 2005 graduate of Demopolis High School who had his right femur shattered by an IED (improvised explosive device) Feb. 12, has undergone four surgeries and approximately an hour a day of physical therapy.

Morrison, who donned a dress-white uniform for the occassion was able to watch the game with the president.

Obama became the 13th president to throw a ceremonial first pitch before a Washington Senators or Nationals season opener, according to the White House; President William Howard Taft was the first to do so, on April 14, 1910. Presidents have delivered Opening Day first pitches 64 times, and Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush all took part in the tradition.

His catcher for the pitch was the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman, and the president later acknowledged that it was “a little high and outside.”