Obama has been practicing for his ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals game Monday. This year marks the 100th anniversary of presidential first pitches.
Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP/File
President Obama will attempt something Monday that in its own way may be just as difficult as enacting healthcare reform: throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals baseball season opener.
Sure, that last healthcare vote in the House was a squeaker. But standing on a major-league mound, looking in at a catcher? Trust us, home plate looks like it’s a million miles away.
Bounced first pitches are legion. So are wild throws. FDR once shattered a photographer’s camera with a first-pitch attempt – and he had the advantage of just tossing it in from the stands.
“Just like all the pitchers around the majors, the southpaw president has engaged in a little spring training in the Rose Garden to get his curveball in opening-day order,” Mr. Gibbs said.
Presidents prior to Mr. Taft had liked baseball, too. But most had thought that actually tossing a ball looked, well, unpresidential.
Taft saw it as good politics.
“The game of baseball is a clean, straight game, and it summons to its presence everybody who enjoys clean, straight athletics,” he said.
This was before the steroid era, obviously.