After throwing out the first pitch during the St. Louis Cardinals’ season opener against the Milwaukee Brewers, President George W. Bush waves to the crowd as he walks off the field holding his pitched baseball, April 5, 2004.
-from the George W. Bush Library
Herbert Hoover and the 1931 World Series
Even though game 6 isn’t until tomorrow, we can still talk baseball, right? The first game of the 1931 World Series (played in Philadelphia between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Athletics) was officially started by President Hoover, shown above throwing out the first ball.
-from the Hoover Library
A great fan and former radio announcer for the Chicago Cubs, President Ronald Reagan threw out the first pitch at a Cubs vs. Pirates game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field in on September 30, 1988.
Discover more baseball stories in the National Archives t e-pub “Baseball: The National Pastime in the National Archives” athttp://www.archives.gov/publications/ebooks or https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/baseball-national-pastime/id621586827?ls=1
President Nixon throwing out the first ball while attending an All Star Baseball Game in Cincinnati, Ohio. With him at the game were Clifford Hardin, First Lady Pat Nixon, David and Julie Eisenhower, Mr. and Mrs. Dale (owners of the Cincinnati Reds), Joe Cronin, President of the American League, Chub Feeney, President of the National League, with Congressman and Mrs. Robert J. Taft. Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver and New York Mets manager Gil Hodges*, stand nearby. 7/14/70.
Discover more baseball stories in the National Archives e-pub “Baseball: The National Pastime in the National Archives” at http://www.archives.gov/publications/ebooks or https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/baseball-national-pastime/id621586827?ls=1
*note: this post originally identified Hodges and Weaver incorrectly. Thanks to the sharp-eyed baseball fans for letting us know!
"…affirming the right of girls to play Little League baseball."
Located in President Gerald R. Ford’s legislation case files is a recommendation to approve the bill H.R. 8864 and amend the Federal charter of Little League Baseball, allowing girls to play.
JFK at the 32nd All-Star Baseball Game
On July 10, 1962, President Kennedy threw out the first ball at the All-Star Baseball Game in Washington, D.C.
Pictured: Speaker of the House John W. McCormack, Dave Powers, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, President Kennedy, Commisioner of Baseball Ford. C. Frick, Lawrence O’Brien, others ( in foreground- Dennis Marcel, Frank Brown, members of the Washington Boys Club ).
-from the JFK Library
Jackie Robinson broke the color line in Major League Baseball when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. This decision would not only integrate baseball, but would help the country work to achieve equal rights for all. Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., once commented to baseball pitcher Don Newcombe, “Don, you and Jackie will never know how easy you made my job, through what you went through on the baseball field.”
Before becoming famous, Lt. Jack R. Robinson was court-martialed at Camp Hood, Texas, because he refused to move to the back of the bus after being told to do so by a bus driver and disobeying an order from a superior officer. Robinson was acquitted of all charges and received an honorable discharge, but this was not the only experience he would have in fighting discrimination.
After retiring from baseball, Robinson turned much of his attention to civil rights issues. He wrote to several Presidents about the cause, and even attended the March on Washington.
Many of these milestone events from Robinson’s life are documented in primary sources from the National Archives.
Get ready for Major League Baseball’s 2013 Opening Day with a new, free eBook from the National Archives!
“Baseball: The National Pastime in the National Archives” tells the story of baseball in America through documents, photographs, audio, video, and other records preserved at the National Archives.
The book can be downloaded for free on your iPhone, Android, iPad, and eReaders.
Learn about the two world wars, contract disputes, civil rights, equal access and opportunity on and off the playing field, the steroids era, Presidential involvement, improvements to the sport, Little League, Opening Day, and more.
(Today’s Document may be quiet the rest of the afternoon as we’re off to see the Nationals take on that expansion team from the Bronx. Go Nats!)