White House Won't Make Baseball's Opening Day a National Holiday

By Sam Schulz and Elizabeth Ladzinski
|  Monday, Mar 31, 2014  |  Updated 6:12 PM EDT
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Philadelphia Phillies' Ben Revere steals second as Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus catches the ball during the fourth inning of an opening day baseball game at Globe Life Park, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

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Sorry, baseball fans — your valiant effort to get Opening Day deemed a national holiday were in vain.

The White House broke the news Monday, three days after a "We the People" petition to make baseball season's kick-off a holiday garnered the 100,000 signatures needed to earn a response.

The White House's response? Blame Congress.

"While we are sympathetic to your pitch to make Opening Day a national holiday, it's a little outside our strike zone: creating permanent federal holidays is traditionally the purview of Congress," a White House spokesman wrote. "So, it's up to the men and women on Capitol Hill to decide whether to swing at this pitch."

The petition had needed to reach 100,000 signatures by March 26. It had reached that total by Friday, March 21, according to MLB.com.

"It’s a day of hope. It’s a day that, for generations, has been looked forward to by baseball fans every off-season. It’s an American tradition, and it deserves to be recognized as an American holiday," the petition said.

The petition was pushed by beer-maker Budweiser in a series of three ads featuring Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. While the White House technically had 60 days to respond, Budweiser had worked to expedite the process in time for Opening Day on Monday.

White House petitions have been used to campaign for everything from building a Death Star to letting Texas secede from the Union.

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