Who is throwing Texas Rangers' first pitch after Greg Abbott declined the honor?
Gov. Greg Abbott won't be on the field during the Texas Rangers' home opener Monday. In a letter, Abbott declined the team's invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He said his decision was based on Major League Baseball's choice to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia's new election law.
Abbott complained that the league was pushing a "false political narrative" by criticizing the Georgia law as a voter suppression effort. In Texas, Abbott and fellow Republicans are pushing for stiffer criminal penalties for election fraud, increasing vote-by-mail restrictions and requirements, and banning drive-thru voting and 24-hour polling places.
Abbott's absence on the mound ahead of the game means first pitch duties will fall to a fifth-grade science teacher from Arlington. Audrey Simmons, who teaches at Dunn Elementary, was among several "frontline heroes" who were originally chosen by the team to accompany the governor to the mound.
Rangers spokesman John Blake said Simmons will throw the pitch in the governor's absence.
The Rangers plan to honor frontline workers like teachers, hospital workers, first responders, grocery store workers and military service members throughout April.