In honor of Opening Day for the 2013 baseball season, we’ve put together this gallery of baseball-related photos, documents, and artifacts from the holdings of the 13 Presidential Libraries of the National Archives. This summary of Presidential baseball history was compiled by James Kratsas, Deputy Director at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. This post originally appeared on the White House blog.
And you can read about even more baseball history in the National Archives in our new, free eBook!
Our national pastime and our nation’s leaders have shared a unique relationship for some 150 years. Presidents throwing out first pitches or hosting World Series winners at the White House are familiar images from each baseball season.
The connection between Presidents and baseball stretches back as far as Abraham Lincoln. According to research conducted for the 1939 Major League Baseball Centennial Celebration, Lincoln was playing baseball in Springfield, Illinois, when he was informed that the Chicago Republican Convention had nominated him as the Presidential candidate. Lincoln is reported to have responded, “They will have to wait a few minutes until I get my next turn at bat.” A year later when he arrived at the White House in 1861, baseball’s popularity had caught on in Washington, DC. As President, Lincoln is said to have played baseball on the White House lawn.
Lincoln’s … [ Read all ]
Opening Day of the 2013 Baseball Season is this Sunday! What better way to celebrate than to crack open some peanuts, download our free eBook “Baseball: The National Pastime in the National Archives,” and grow a luxuriant mustache in honor of President Taft.
Taft is the newest addition to the Nationals Racing Presidents.The 27th President is well-known for his size and his bushy white mustache. He was the last President to sport facial hair while in office.
Did his luxuriant mustache give him an edge in the search for a new mascot? Of the five Presidents represented, facial hair adorns three of their outsized noggins. Lincoln has a beard, Teddy Roosevelt has a mustache, and now Taft has joined the crew with a mustache of his own. The only clean-shaven mascots are Washington and Jefferson.
While the mustache may have tipped the scales in Taft’s favor, Nationals management may have also wanted to honor Taft for his role in baseball history.
Taft was the first (and remains the only) former President to become a Supreme Court justice. But before he was on the bench, he was in the game! Taft was the first President to throw out the first ball of the baseball season.
On April 14, 1910, Taft threw a pitch to Walter Johnson, Opening Day pitcher for the Washington Senators. On April … [ Read all ]