Posted March 05, 2013

That Time Hugo Chávez Threw Out The First Pitch At Shea Stadium

The leader attended Bobby Valentine fake mustache night

Photos

Hugo Chávez, the polarizing president of Venezuela who died Tuesday at 58, had cast himself as a foe of the United States over much of the past decade.

But it was a far different story when he made his first official U.S. visit in June 1999.

Chávez, a lifelong baseball fan, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the June 9, 1999 game between the Blue Jays and Mets at Shea Stadium — the same night Bobby Valentine bent the rules with a fake mustache — and hobnobbed with the team.

BBN-BLUE JAYS-METS-VENEZUELAN PITCH

Matt Campbell/AFP/Getty Images

BBN-BLUE JAYS-METS-CHAVEZ LAUGH

Matt Campbell/AFP/Getty Images

BBN-BLUE JAYS-METS-VENEZUELAN PLAYERS

Matt Campbell/AFP/Getty Images

BBN-BLUE JAYS-METS-VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT

Matt Campbell/AFP/Getty Images

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