Nine to Know: Presidents and Baseball

1. President John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 and served from 1961 until his death in 1963. Infielder John E. Kennedy played for the Washington Senators from 1962-64 and was born on May 29, 1941.

2. John I. Kennedy on April 22, 1957 became the first black player for the Philadelphia Phillies, the last NL team to integrate.

3. Tommy Bridges, who was a six-time All-Star pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, deserves to be on this list because his full name was Thomas Jefferson Davis Bridges meaning his name encompasses both a US president and Confederate States president.

4. Great quote from the Spaceman, Bill Lee, “I heard Jimmy Carter said he lost control of the U.S. government. That shows you how dumb he is. He thought he had control to begin with.”

5. President Richard M. Nixon, beyond naming his All-Star team, named his all-time bests:

6. Pitcher Dennis Martinez was known as “El Presidente.”

7. “I wanted to be a real Major League baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner.” – President Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961)

8. From 1969-75, there was a minor leaguer, Larry President.

9. In perhaps his most astute statement, President George W. Bush said, “Baseball isn’t just the stats. As much as anything else, baseball is the style of Willie Mays, or the determination of Hank Aaron, or the endurance of a Mickey Mantle, the discipline of Carl Yastrzemski, the drive of Eddie Mathews, the reliability of a (Al) Kaline or a (Joe) Morgan, the grace of a (Joe) DiMaggio, the kindness of a Harmon Killebrew, and the class of Stan Musial, the courage of a Jackie Robinson, or the heroism of Lou Gehrig. My hope for the game is that these qualities will never be lost.”