From SABR member Bill McCurdy at The Pecan Park Eagle on February 21, 2015:
Presidents of the United States have been throwing out documented first pitches of the baseball season in Washington or elsewhere since the administration of William Howard Taft. If any chief executives before Taft ever did the same, it occurred in eras in which there either were no cameras to record it or it simply was an earlier time in which the art of photography was considered too complex and cumbersome to do outside a studio.
A few of these first pitch presidents shown here were pretty knowledegeable of baseball, with Nixon, Reagan, Eisenhower and the two Bushes probably ranking at the head of the class and most likely to have been members of SABR under different life circumstances. The rest ranged from avid home town fans to casual fans to indifferents who understood the potential loss of political support from baseball fans had they chosen on the basis of apathey not to throw out a first ball somewhere voting support was critical.
Ronald Reagan is the only former president to have been a former baseball radio play-by-play guy and later an actor who had portrayed the life of a Hall of Fame pitcher in the movies. Reagan played the lead role of Grover Cleveland Alexander in the 1952 film, “The Winning Team”. Coincidentally to his appearance in that role, Reagan also became the only United States President to have made a co-starring movie with actress Doris Day.
Read the full article here: https://bill37mccurdy.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/presidential-first-pitches/
Originally published: February 23, 2015. Last Updated: February 23, 2015.