The answer, according to multiple people with knowledge of the plan: Chad Cordero to Brian Schneider, the end-of-game battery for the Nationals team that brought baseball back to Washington in 2005.
The Nats formally announced the news on Friday, along with the participants in Games 4 and 5. On Saturday, the ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by player from the team’s youth baseball academy, accompanied by Anthony Rendon and Max Scherzer. On Sunday, if necessary, restaurateur and humanitarian José Andrés will throw out the first pitch.
Cordero, the closer for manager Frank Robinson’s Nationals, became an all-star during a rollicking first half of the season in which the Nationals surged to first place in the National League East, and ended up leading the league with 47 saves and posting a 1.82 ERA.
Schneider was his catcher for most of the season. He caught the ceremonial first pitch from President George W. Bush in Washington’s first regular-season game since 1971 at RFK Stadium — a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks that Cordero saved.
Cordero remained with the Nationals through 2008, when he suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder. Schneider was a Nat through 2007, after which he was traded to the New York Mets as part of a deal for outfielder Lastings Milledge.
“You get goose bumps,” Schneider said from his home in Florida.
“Seeing how happy [the fans] were back then and seeing how happy they were [when the Nats won the pennant], it honestly made me tear up a little bit,” Cordero said from his home in California.
For the World Series, individual clubs submit ideas and preferences for pregame and in-game ceremonies — first pitches, anthem singers, and so on. Major League Baseball has final approval. Retired catcher Brian McCann threw the first pitch before Game 1 in Houston, and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles had the honor before Game 2.
Friday night’s Game 3 will be the first World Series game in Washington since 1933, when the New York Giants beat the Washington Senators in 10 innings at Griffith Stadium to win the championship in five games.
President Trump said Thursday that he plans to attend Game 5 on Sunday, if the Series is still going, though he did not confirm if he had been asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Nationals detect ticketing fraud
The Nationals detected “some fraudulent activity” in their ticketing system during the run-up to the World Series, the team confirmed in a statement on Thursday. World Series tickets were obtained fraudulently, but the Nationals said those tickets were immediately voided. Those seats were reclaimed and then put back into the team’s system for fans to purchase.
“No personal information was breached,” the team said in a statement. "As you know, high-profile events such as the World Series are often targets for this type of activity.
The cheapest standing room-only tickets for the franchise’s first World Series game Friday night were listed at more than $1,100 on the secondary market as of Thursday afternoon. — Isabelle Khurshudyan
Read more World Series coverage: