The 2019 World Series marks the first time that the Washington Nationals have made it to baseball’s championship since the team moved to the capital in 2005. To root for the home team, President Trump made a rare public appearance in a city that can’t stand him — one poll from 2017 showed that only 12 percent of D.C. residents approve of him — sitting in a luxury box for game five against the Houston Astros, surrounded by a small buffer zone made up of the First Lady and 11 Republican members of Congress.
What transpired proved that Trump’s shut-in status around town up to now has been sound policy. (He is notorious for staying in the White House, has not attended a D.C. sports game prior to Sunday, and in two and a half years hasn’t eaten at a restaurant other than the one in his own hotel.) When his face was put on the jumbotron, the Nationals Park crowd immediately erupted in boos.
To get the crowd to stop their enthusiastic dissent, the camera moved the shot away from the president and to a group of five wounded veterans also in attendance. As the fourth inning began, the D.C. crowd adapted a MAGA rally standard, chanting, “Lock him up.” And by the right-field foul pole during the seventh inning, fans hung an “Impeach Trump” banner.
All heckling considered, it could have gone much worse in the city where Trump got just 4 percent of the vote in 2016. Prior to the game, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said that they had “had a conversation with him about first pitches.” The president nixed it, citing concerns, according to Manfred, about “fans getting into the stadium.”
Though Trump avoided an on-field shaming by Nats fans, he probably wasn’t thrilled by the choice for the ceremonial throw: José Andrés, the chef and restaurateur who, in 2016, bailed on his project slated for Trump International in D.C., citing the candidate’s racist comments toward Mexican immigrants. Since the inauguration, he has said that Trump “should be ashamed of himself” for his failure in Puerto Rico and offered free meals to furloughed workers during the government shutdown last winter. The pitch was in the dirt, but Andrés appeared to get a standing ovation.
This post has been updated.