Think Opening Day Should Be a National Holiday? White House Says It's Up to Congress

Categories: Sports

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Mark Fischer on flickr
The White House officially responded to a petition to make Opening Day a holiday by passing the buck to Congress.
More than 102,000 people signed the petition asking President Barack Obama to make the opening day of the MLB season a federal holiday.

But the White House says if its an official holiday baseball fans want, they'll have to take their quest to Congress.

See also: 9 Reasons Why Opening Day Should Be a National Holiday

"While we are sympathetic to your pitch to make Opening Day a national holiday, it's a little outside our strike zone," says Josh Earnest, principal deputy press secretary at the White House. "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."

See also: Opening Day 2014: Cardinals Fever Takes Over St. Louis, the Internet

Earnest adds that he knows where he'll spend Opening Day.

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Miss Chatter on flickr
President Barack Obama in a Nationals jersey and White Sox hat.
"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," Earnest says. "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."

As for Obama, he'll spend the day cheering his Chicago White Sox. The next day, he meets the 2013 World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, at the White House.

"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," Earnest says.

Opening Day already feels like an official holiday in a baseball town like St. Louis, especially when the opening game is at home. Maybe that's why two Lou institutions, former Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith and Anheuser-Busch, paired up to lead the charge to make Opening Day an official, federal holiday.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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22 comments
Stephen Martin
Stephen Martin

Many years ago, when it was still illegal in Missouri to sell 5% beer on Sunday, the state legislature made Super Bowl Sunday a state holiday. They did so to allow a law that already allowed beer sales on certain holidays to include Super Bowl Sunday, as well. If the state can make the Super Bowl a holiday to sell beer, you would think that it could do the same with MLB opening day.

Harrison Elfrink
Harrison Elfrink

I love Baseball, but I think election day should be made a national holiday before opening day.

Kevin McAlister
Kevin McAlister

Linda quite simply the Blues are only team that has not won world championship.

Abbey Allred Wharton
Abbey Allred Wharton

The White House responds to any change.org petition that gets a certain number of signatures.

Linda SansSouci
Linda SansSouci

No. Many of us are still into the hockey season. Our Blues are in First place, you know. Why ignore the other sports? We are more than a one sport town!

Jeff Dudley
Jeff Dudley

Why is the White House even dignifying that with a response? Don't they have real work to do?

Julie Berry
Julie Berry

Im a huge Cardinal fan but this is stupid. St. Louis is a baseball town, not every city is. What Cards fans really want is a home opener holiday and its never going to happen. Lets waste taxpayers money with this.

Rob Compton
Rob Compton

We don't deserve a functioning Republic so sure, let's vote to make opening day a holiday.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

So dumb. Baseball is not even the most popular sport in America anymore.

Courtney Ringle
Courtney Ringle

Election day should be a national holiday. Not opening day

Zac Miller
Zac Miller

Americans do need more time off, but not for this.

Kevin McAlister
Kevin McAlister

Give it up move on to something else Smith. The National Holiday is not going to happen.

Andrew Bell
Andrew Bell

I hope this is tongue in cheek, because we can't even get voting to be a national holiday.

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