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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The ceremonial first pitch for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game at Nationals Park on Tuesday night was thrown out by Medal of Honor recipient James McCloughan, who was a combat medic in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970.

The ceremonial first pitch was caught by Nationals star Bryce Harper, who then signed the baseball. McCloughan was one of 30 Medal of Honor recipients who were recognized before the game and they mingled with players on the infield before the first pitch.


McCloughan spent 38 years as a high school baseball coach in Michigan and in 2003 was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame. McCloughan was also inducted into the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association in 1997.

McCloughan was a four-sport athlete at Bangor High in Michigan and played three sports at Olivet College. He has a master’s degree from Western Michigan University.

The Canadian national anthem was performed by members of the Royal Canadian Air Force Band. The U.S. national anthem was performed by the Community Choirs in the D.C. area.

The flyover before the game was provided by the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.

Former Nationals pitcher Blake Treinen of Oakland, former Washington catcher Wilson Ramos (The Buffalo) of Tampa Bay and former Washington reliever Felipe Vazquez (formerly Rivero) of the Pirates got nice ovations in the pregame introductions.

So did Nationals manager and NL bench coach Dave Martinez, Washington outfielder Harper, injured Nationals closer Sean Doolittle and pitcher Max Scherzer, who was preparing for his second All-Star start in a row in the right-field bullpen. The cheers for Harper and Scherzer were the loudest.


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