ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 14: U.S. President Barack Obama throws out the first pitch before the 2009 All-Star Game at Busch Stadium July 14, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. The American League beat the National League 4-3. (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
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US Presidents have thrown out the first pitch for MLB’s opening day for over 100 years — here’s the history from Taft to Obama

April 1st is Opening Day for the 2021 Major League Baseball season, which in previous years has seen its fair share of politicians throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

Many former US presidents, regardless of their political affiliation, have shared a lifelong passion for America’s pastime, and have taken to the mound to throw the first pitch on opening days dating back to 1910

During the Great Depression, then-president Franklin Delano Roosevelt supported baseball as a comfort and a light-hearted distraction from the struggles Americans were facing. 

Ronald Reagan also broadcasted play-by-play re-enactments of Chicago Cubs game for an Iowa radio station in the 1930s — and would go on to throw out the first pitch as President himself.

President Joe Biden has yet to throw out the first pitch at an MLB opening day while in office.

Here are some of the times US Presidents have thrown the first pitches on past opening days.

President Barack Obama threw the first pitch at a Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies game on opening day 2010.

Obama opening day
President Barack Obama smiles after putting on his Chicago White Sox hat before delivering the ceremonial first pitch during opening day ceremonies for a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals, Monday, April 5, 2010, at Nationals Park in Washington. 

In 2009, Vice President Joe Biden threw the first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees opening-day game.

Joe Biden first pitch
Vice President Joe Biden throws out the first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees opening day baseball game at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Monday, April 6, 2009. 

George W. Bush threw the first pitch at the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds game in 2001, the first year of his presidency.

George W Bush first pitch
President Bush throws out the first ceremonial pitch to open Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers’ new stadium, during opening day ceremonies Friday, April 6, 2001 in Milwaukee, Wis. 

President Bill Clinton threw the first pitch for the Baltimore Orioles’ opening-day games multiple times during his presidency. While he grew up in Arkansas, his wife Hillary Clinton turned him into a Chicago Cubs fan.

Bill Clinton first pitch
Bill Clinton throws out the first pitch on the first day of the 1992 baseball season at Oriole Park in Camden Yards, Baltimore 

George H.W. Bush, a lifelong lover of the sport, threw out many first pitches during his political career. Here he is in 1988 at the New York Mets opening day.

George HW Bush first pitch
Vice President George H.W. Bush (George Bush) throws out the first pitch on the New York Mets Opening Day. April 12, 1988. 

Back in the 1930s, President Ronald Reagan’s broadcasted play-by-play re-enactments of Chicago Cubs games for an Iowa radio station. He threw out many first pitches during his political career.

Reagan first pitch
U.S. President Ronald Reagan throws out the ceremonial first pitch at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill., Friday, Sept. 30, 1988. The Chicago Cubs host the Pittsburgh Pirates. The president later went to the broadcast booth and helped announce the first part of the game. 

President John F. Kennedy once threw out the first pitch wearing a suit. He was a baseball fan throughout his entire life, and cultivated the support of prominent baseball players during his campaigns for political office.

JFK first pitch opening day
President John F. Kennedy tosses out the first ball to open the American League baseball season in Washington, April 9, 1962. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson is seen at far left, front. 

President and General Dwight Eisenhower had a secret career playing minor league baseball before attending West Point Military Academy in the early 20th century.

Dwight Eisenhower first pitch
President Dwight Eisenhower throws out a ball to his second pitch to open the American League baseball season, April 18, 1960. Vice President Richard Nixon is seated at left 

Baseball was a comforting distraction to many Americans during the Great Depression and World War II, and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt encouraged the sport to carry on during the nation’s most difficult times.

FDR first pitch
In this April 14, 1936 black-and-white file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt prepares to throw the traditional first pitch in Washington. 

The first US President known to ever throw the first pitch at an opening-day baseball game was William Howard Taft in 1910.

William Howard Taft first pitch
In this 1912 black-and-white file photo, President William Howard Taft is seen throwing out the first ball of a baseball game for the Washington Senators in Washington. 

By Grace Panetta | Business Insider

 

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