Inside Baseball: Politicians And The National Pastime

April 1, 2010 5:38 pm

1909: Dwight D. Eisenhower, second from right in the top row, poses with the rest of the Abilene, Kansas High School baseball team.

Eisenhower is just one of the many top politicians, past and present, who have partaken in America’s favorite pastime. With opening day coming up on April 4th, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the greatest political hits (and perhaps strikeouts).

More pictures of political first pitches are here.

Newscom/U.S. Army Photo/CNP

July 7, 1937: President Franklin Roosevelt attends the All-Star Game at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., where he throws out the first pitch.


1948: Then-Yale Baseball Captain George Bush accepts “The Babe Ruth Story” autobiography from Babe Ruth, on behalf of Yale University.

Newscom/White House via CNP

1952: Future President Ronald Reagan suits up for a role in the film Winning Team, directed by Lewis Seiler.


September 18, 1965: New York politician Jim Farley, New York Yankee Mickey Mantle and his wife, Merlyn Mantle, and Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-NY) attend Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium.

Newscom/TSN Archives/The Sporting News/ZUMA Press

1966: Then-Reps. Donald Rumsfeld (IL), fifth from the left, and Gerald Ford (MI), fourth from the right, are among those on the Republican team at the annual Congressional baseball game at D.C. Stadium.

Pictured clockwise from left to right: Glenn Davis (WI), Robert Michel (IL), George Hansen (ID), James Broyhill (NC), Don Rumsfeld (IL), Harold Collier (IL), Gerald Ford (MI), Speaker John McCormack (D-MA), Charles Goodell (NY), Donald Clausen (CA), Robert Griffin (MI), Silvio Conte (MA), William Broomfield (MI), William Ayres (OH) and John J. Duncan, Sr. (TN).


April 8, 1969: President Richard Nixon throws out the first ball on opening day at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Washington Senators manager Ted Williams, Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, Senators owner Bob Short and Yankee manager Ralph Houk are also visible.

Newscom/White House via CNP

1976: Jimmy Carter plays baseball during his ultimately successful Presidential campaign.


July 18, 1998: Vice President Al Gore autographs a baseball for the daughter of Atlanta Braves coach Frank Fultz, before the start of a game between the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers at Turner Field in Atlanta.


May 6, 2001: President George W. Bush goes back to the Minors and puts the first ball on the T for a T-ball baseball game on the South Lawn of the White House.


June 29, 2004: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Vice President Dick Cheney, and New York Governor George Pataki sit together during a New York Yankees victory over the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.


August 22, 2006: New York Mets mascot Mr. Met chats up former President Bill Clinton, at a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea Stadium.

Newscom/ IconPhotos

July 14, 2009: President Barack Obama joins Fox Sports announcers Joe Buck, left, and Tim McCarver, right, in the broadcast booth at the MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

October 28, 2009: Dr. Jill Biden, Legendary New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, First Lady Michelle Obama, and retired Army Capt. Tony Odierno, A West Point graduate and Yankees employee who lost his left arm in Iraq, take to the field at Yankee Stadium for Game 1 of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Yankees.

The Yankees go on to win the World Series.

Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton

Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Senior Newswriters:
Editor at Large:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: