There are plenty of ways for politicians to embarrass themselves (getting busted for foot-tapping comes to mind), but few are as public as bouncing the ceremonial first pitch at baseball games. Yesterday President Obama announced that he would be making his first first pitch as Commander-in-Chief in two weeks when he'll take the mound before the MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis (in 2005 he threw out the opening ball as a U.S. Senator (above) at a playoff game for his beloved Chicago White Sox).
The Prez has a lot to live up to with his toss: one of the
few only things his predecessor did really well was throw first pitch strikes, and in the immortal words of baseball fan Phife Dawg (whose favorite jam back in the day was "Eric B. is President"): "You don't want to make a pitch that's wild." To get a sense of how other politicians have fared on the mound, we take a look back at the History of Political First Pitches...
POLITICIAN: Mark Mallory, Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio
DATE: April 2, 2007
GAME: Cincinnati Reds Opening Day
• If Obama fudges the first pitch this badly, he'll have to answer to the Special Olympics again.
POLITICIAN: Dick Cheney, Former Vice President
DATE: April 1, 2006
GAME: Washington Nationals Opening Day
• To be fair, the veep had them ban beer sales during this game so the ovation has nothing to do with his politics. Nothing.
POLITICIAN: Jim and Joe Bernard, Mayor and Former Mayor of Milwaukie, Oregon
DATE: April 1, 2007
GAME: North Clackamas local league
• We're not sure which one in this father/son duo actually tossed the first pitch, but we know that mess was weak. Underhanded? Really?
POLITICIAN: George W. Bush, Former President
DATE: April 6, 2009
GAME: Texas Rangers Opening Day
• Best. Throwing. President. Ever. Yee-haw!
POLITICIAN: Blaine Luetkemeyer, Missouri Congressman
DATE: June 2009
GAME: Hannibal Caveman Game (huh?)
• Wow. Obama is so much cooler than this guy.
POLITICIAN: Joe Biden, Vice President
DATE: April 6, 2009
GAME: Baltimore Orioles Opening Day
• Biden's got a history of shooting himself in the foot, so we're a little surprised he actually got off a decent pitch here.