On Presidents' Day, we remember the most 'presidential pitchers' of all-time
"The game was interrupted by the cheering, which spread in a great wave from the grandstand to the bleachers as the crowd recognized the president." - The Washington Post
Whether it's ceremonial first pitches, presidential nicknames or actual presidential names, baseball has been linked with our Head of State for centuries. It's truly America's pastime, one which George Washington was even rumored to practice for hours during his time in office -- and that was close to 50 years before the modern game came about in the mid-1800s.
So on Presidents' Day, let's recognize this historic connection and list some of the top "presidential pitchers" of all-time. Let us know in the comments if you have any nominations of your own.
6.) Well hurled, fine sir! William Howard Taft was the first sitting president to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at National Park in 1910:
5.) FDR threw out more first pitches than any sitting president. It also probably helped that he was elected to about 35 terms in office:
4) Lincoln came into office around the time baseball was really taking off. He was rumored to have played on the White House lawn and we'd have to think his 6-foot-4 lanky frame would provide a solid fastball. This cartoon ran during the 1860 election:
3.) Dennis 'El Presidente' Martinez racked up 245 wins over a 22-year career:
2.) The President of the Texas Rangers and no-hit king --- Nolan Ryan:
1.) There was Grover Cleveland Alexander, Theodore Roosevelt Lily and then ... Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma (Cal) McLish. Cal pitched for multiple teams during his 15-year career and was given so many names because, well, his father thought it was a great idea:
Image courtesy of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame
-- Matt Monagan / MLB.com