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.
In 2009, Vice President Joe Biden threw the first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees opening-day game.
George W. Bush threw the first pitch at the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds game in 2001, the first year of his presidency.
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.
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.
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.
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.
President and General Dwight Eisenhower had a secret career playing minor league baseball before attending West Point Military Academy in the early 20th century.
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.
The first US President known to ever throw the first pitch at an opening-day baseball game was William Howard Taft in 1910.
By Grace Panetta | Business Insider