The Washington Post

OPM director tosses first pitch as Nationals give nod to federal employees

Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta threw out the first pitch in Tuesday’s baseball game between the Nationals and the Dodgers as the local club recognized federal workers as part of Public Service Recognition Week.

The ball club also honored this year’s finalists for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Awards, allowing them onto the field for pregame ceremonies.

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta throws the first pitch at a Nationals game. (Photos by Patrick McDermott/Washington Nationals).

Archuleta, wearing an alternate home jersey with her name on the back, stood a few feet in front of the mound and lobbed a pitch that landed just in front of catcher Sandy Leon’s knees. It wasn’t the prettiest throw at Nationals Park that day, but it got the job done.

The director said before taking the field that she felt calm, despite the pressure of performing in front of thousands of fans. “I was at a Senate hearing today, so this doesn’t make me nervous,” she said.

Archuleta said OPM staff members gave her some pointers before the game about how to handle her pitching duties. “They told me to stand to the side,” she said, rather than squaring up with home plate. “And you have to hold the ball the right way — with three fingers.”

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta poses with Nationals catcher Sandy Leon and team mascot Screech.

Marcia Crosse, a director with the Government Accountability Office’s health-care team, attended the game as one of the finalists for the citizen services award. She had never set foot on the Nationals’ field before Tuesday, despite being a season ticket-holder since the inaugural season.

“It looks so different from this perspective than it does when I’m in my balcony-level seats,” she said. “It is a really nice baseball park.”  

Gregory McCarthy, vice president of government affairs for the Nationals, said the events on Tuesday are part of an effort to reach out to the Washington region’s massive civil-service community. “They are our home town,” he said. “It makes sense to pay tribute to them and engage them in a very special way.”

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks(at)washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, and The Fed Page for more federal news. Submit news tips and suggestions to

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.



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