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VIA ESPN:

Not wanting to short-arm the ceremonial first ball or pull a Mark Wahlberg, President Barack Obama intends to warm up prior to taking the mound at the All-Star Game on Tuesday night.

Well, I think it’s fair to say that I want to loosen up my arm a little bit,” Obama said in the Oval Office when asked if he planned to practice.

All-Star players already are pitching for an opportunity to greet him at Busch Stadium. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols will move behind the plate to receive Obama’s pitch.

He says he wants to warm up before. So I’m just going to tell him, ‘Just lob it up there and don’t try to be a perfect throw,’ ” the St. Louis slugger, who leads the majors in home runs and RBIs, said.

Presidential first pitches seem to carry more weight than others. Former President George W. Bush, a one-time owner of the Rangers, threw a strike with conviction prior to Game 3 of the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium, which came just weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks.

Then there’s the recent first pitch thrown by actor Wahlberg in Boston. Like Obama a fellow left-hander, Wahlberg threw not once, but twice, all while holding onto a water bottle and getting what some thought was an undeserved second opportunity to throw a strike.

Obviously it’s an honor to catch the first pitch from the president, as our leader,” Pujols said. “[Tuesday] I think it’s going to get to me. As a little boy when I was my son’s age, I would never have thought I was going to be on this stage.”

Obama will be in the Fox broadcast booth with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver on Tuesday, reportedly for the bottom of the second inning.

Do you think Obama will do a great job of pitching? Share your thoughts below!

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