Baseball: A Presidential Pastime
Fondly referred to as America’s pastime, baseball is forever-woven in to the seams of our country’s history. We all have our favorite baseball memories, and U.S. Presidents are no exception.
From former players to avid fans, almost every U.S. President has made a small mark in the book of baseball history. With Major League Baseball’s fight for the Fall Classic upon us, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at presidential baseball history.
Presidential First Pitches
President William Howard Taft started this now-storied baseball tradition on opening day of the Major League Baseball season in 1910. From his seat in the stands at Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C., he threw out what is now known as the inaugural presidential first pitch.
In the years since, it’s become a tradition in which all but just one president has been a willing participant. Take a trip down memory lane and check out these historic presidential first pitches.
Presidential Baseball Players
Several presidents played baseball at one time or another in their lives, but arguably the most notable is President George H.W. Bush. Although he excelled at several sports as a child, baseball was his sport of choice as a student-athlete at Yale. As the first baseman and captain, he led the team to a birth in the 1947 College World Series, which they eventually lost to the University of California.
Presidential Baseball Fanatics
There’s nothing quite like sitting back with a cold drink and a hot dog to watch your favorite team fight through nine innings for a win. Just ask your President! Over the years, we’ve seen our fearless leaders take in a game or two, and who can blame them? There’s really nothing more satisfying than a game-winning strikeout.
Interested in seeing how often your favorite President took in a game? Check out these presidential attendance records.
Presidential Hosts to World Series Champions
Hosted by President Calvin Coolidge, the 1924 Washington Senators were the first World Series Champions to visit the White House. Since then, it’s become a time-honored tradition, photo-op and honor for MLB players. Most recently, President Barack Obama greeted the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.
Interested in testing your presidential baseball knowledge? Check out this U.S. Presidents and Baseball quiz!
For more interesting baseball facts, stories and trivia, visit the Baseball Almanac.