If you are un-aware of this connection, you definitely need to get to Washington, DC ASAP and do some research in person!
Hint: Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt can be found bobbling around out “in left field”! Did this help?!
These four men are the adored Running Presidents at the Washington National’s baseball game. Since 2006, at every National’s home game George, Tom, Abe and Teddy light up the middle of the fourth inning by having a race around the perimeter of the playing field. It’s a stirring event and the fans love them! Everyone has his or her favorite president and cheers loudly in hopes of spiriting this president to victory!
For a short time the National’s fab four were joined by President William Howard Taft, President Herbert Hoover and President Calvin Coolidge who ran their hearts out for a few years. But, alas, these presidents have since been retired from the group.
I don’t want to spoil your fun, but I must tell you that Teddy is the interminable underdog, having interrupted his loosing streak only once, for a short while in 2012. He still holds the position as the Running President with the most losses --- or with the fewest wins.
In addition to the Washington National’s Running President’s many of our real U.S. Presidents have had a relationship – good or bad – with American baseball.
Here are links to some cool information about these relationships:
What do you think? Did our second U.S. President play baseball as a child? http://www.baseball-almanac.com/prz_qja.shtml
Dwight D. Eisenhower
As a young child, Dwight Eisenhower put everyone on notice that he intended one day to be a professional, major league baseball player like Honus Wagner (played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and was considered by many to be one of the finest dead-ball era ball players of all time.)
He went on to play center field in high school while earning an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. He was always proud of his hitting ability but he never played professional baseball.
In the 1930’s Ronald Regan worked as a sportscaster for WHO in Des Moines, Iowa. He was initially hired as an announcer to broadcast University of Iowa games. After doing this for a while his responsibilities were expanded and he was asked to give play-by-play accounts of Chicago Cubs baseball games via telegraph from the local radio studio. That’s when it happened! During the ninth inning of a Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals game, the wire went dead. Reagan smoothly improvised a fictional play-by-play (in which hitters on both teams gained a superhuman ability to foul off pitches) until the wire was restored.
William Howard Taft
President William H. Taft launched the tradition of ceremonial first pitches in 1910 with his delivery to Washington Senators starting pitcher Walter Johnson.
George Herbert Walker Bush
While attending Yale University George Herbert Walker Bush played first base for the university baseball team and was the team captain. Rummor has it that he kept his baseball glove in a drawer in the Oval Office during his term as president.
George W Bush
George grew up dreaming of being Willie Mayes. Wonder what happened?
He will always be remember for delivering a memorable first pitch to open the 2001 World Series following the September, 11 terrorist attacks.
President Grover Cleveland loved the game of baseball, but felt a strong civic sense of duty and never attended a single Major League game while in office. Once during a visit to the Oval Office, John Heydler (the then future National League president) was asked by President Cleveland to personally read Casey at the Bat to him.
Casey at the Bat --- http://www.baseball-almanac.com/poetry/po_case.shtml
At a press conference on his 87th birthday in 1961, President Herbert Hoover said he was “the oldest living baseball fan” ever since he had started playing the game as a ten-year old in 1884. Asked about the current contest between New York Yankees Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle to break Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record, Hoover said: I am for anybody who can bat a home run --- in baseball or anything else.”
From “Hoover Disputes Idea of Soft U.S.,” Dallas (Texas) Morning News, August 10, 1961
Baseball officials tried their best but nothing could persuade Theodore Roosevelt to love baseball!
Here’s a link to some of President Roosevelt’s thoughts about “our” dear Quentin and baseball.
When you visit DC, consider:
· Taking a tour of the Washington National’s Stadium
· Taking-in a National’s Baseball game and rooting for your favorite Running President!
· Stroll around the President’s Neighborhood with our dear Quentin Roosevelt on a Pickle Pea White House as a Home Walk and ask him, first hand, about his father and baseball.