Anheuser-Busch InBev's Budweiser, with the backing of Major League Baseball, has hired Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith to promote its idea of making the game's opening day a national holiday, The Washington Post
Budweiser, the "official beer of major league baseball," is capitalizing on the former St. Louis Cardinals shortstop's name – this time sending "Mr. Smith" to Washington in search of White House support for the holiday.
The company has launched a TV ad campaign aimed at generating 100,000 signatures on the WhiteHouse.gov site in support of the proposal.
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The effort is set to end on opening day March 30, when the San Diego Padres host the Los Angeles Dodgers. Only fans over 21 can vote , precluding giving a voice to millions of elementary pupils and high school students.
"Millions of baseball fans already consider opening day to be an unofficial national holiday," said Tim Brosnan of Major League Baseball. According to Budweiser, some 22.2 million adult Americans "admit to having played 'hooky' from work or other commitments to attend or watch an opening day game."
Currently, there are 10 federal holidays
that are widely observed legal days off around the country, ranging from New Year's Day and Presidents Day to Memorial Day and Christmas. In addition, many states make national Election Day a legal holiday.
Most big-league teams are set to start their schedules March 31, according to ESPN
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