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U.N. Chief Throwing First Pitch

October 23, 1999

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ His pitch is usually to make peace, but on Tuesday U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will be pitching the first ball in the World Series game between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees.

Annan, who played soccer during his youth in Ghana and now plays tennis, has been practicing to get the pitch right, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said Friday.

The secretary-general was asked a few months ago by major league officials to throw out the first pitch, but the offer was firmed up last week when the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox in the American League championship game, Eckhard said.

The World Series begins Saturday in Atlanta and Tuesday’s contest will be the first home game at Yankees Stadium.

Is the secretary-general rooting for either team?

Eckhard said no _ he’s going to be strictly neutral.

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