Now that Easter Sunday has come and gone, we can turn our full, undivided attention to that great American sport: Baseball.
And with the official start of the baseball season, who isn’t thrilled to revel in the drama and excitement of the American summer? Sure, maybe you’re not a fan of baseball, but there’s a reason it’s often referred to as our nation’s pastime.
From the poorest kid in the poorest neighborhood to the President of the United States, millions of Americans have for over a century lovingly embraced the game.
Why? Maybe because it offers mystery, tradition, and beauty.
“It weighs just over five ounces and measures between 2.86 and 2.94 inches in diameter. It is made of a composition-cork nucleus encased in two thin layers of rubber, one black and one red,” writes famed essayist Roger Angell in his 1976 book “Five Seasons.”
“Any baseball is beautiful. No other small package comes as close to the ideal in design and utility,” he continues. “Its feel and heft are the beginning of the sport’s critical dimensions; if it were a fraction of an inch larger or smaller, a few centigrams heavier or lighter, the game of baseball would be utterly different.
“Hold a baseball in your hand. Feel the ball, turn it over in your hand; hold it across the seam or just to the side of your middle finger. Speculation stirs. You want to get outdoors and throw this spare and sensual object to somebody or, at the very least, watch somebody else throw it. The game has begun”.
So grab a bag of peanuts and a frosty malt and enjoy the following collection of U.S. presidents throwing out the ceremonial first pitch:
18. President William Howard Taft
17. President Woodrow Wilson
16. President Warren G. Harding
15. President Calvin Coolidge
14. President Herbert Hoover
13. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
12. President Harry Truman
11. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
10. President John F. Kennedy
9. President Lyndon B. Johnson
8. President Richard Nixon
7. President Gerald Ford
6. President Jimmy Carter
5. President Ronald Reagan
4. President George H. W. Bush
3. President Bill Clinton
2. President George W. Bush
1. President Barack Obama
Bonus: Do They Still Play the Blues In Chicago?
Enjoy Steve Goodman’s tale of a dying Chicago Cubs fan’s last request to his friends:
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