Official White House Response to Declare Major League Baseball Opening Day a national holiday.

Honoring Our National Pastime

By Josh Earnest

For more than a century, American presidents have celebrated baseball's Opening Day -- from President William Taft's 1910 first pitch from the stands, to President Obama toeing the rubber at Nationals Park in 2010.

Opening Day signals a new beginning, not only for the 30 Major League Baseball teams playing for their shot at a title, but for the millions of fans who will follow the 162-game journey -- from “Play ball!” through the last out. That includes President Obama, who will be rooting for his White Sox to go all the way.

While we are sympathetic to your pitch to make Opening Day a national holiday, it's a little outside our strike zone: creating permanent federal holidays is traditionally the purview of Congress. So, it's up to the men and women on Capitol Hill to decide whether to swing at this pitch.

To celebrate Opening Day, we'll be honoring the 2013 World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, here at the White House on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, I'll spend that day visualizing what it would be like to welcome my 2014 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals to the White House. That is, after all, the best part of Opening Day: every team is tied for first place and poised to make a run at the Fall Classic.

Thanks again for your petition and your participation in We the People.

Josh Earnest is Principal Deputy Press Secretary and a lifelong Kansas City Royals fan.

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