|Because of what was considered an inappropriaterelationship with awoman in the White House, the president of theUnited States wasbeing severely criticized by the press. It was learned thathe had beenfrequently entertaining a woman in the White House, and thiswithin eightmonths of his wife's death. Consequently, the media of 1915chided PresidentWoodrow Wilson unmercifully. In fact, one morning TheWashington Posthad to send personnel scampering around town to retrievecopies of an earlyedition, after discovering an embarrassing typographicalerror. An articlehad intended to state that President Wilson had spent theevening entertainingMrs. Galt, but someone had inadvertently left out thethird syllable ofentertaining.|
During that game, a Bostonpitcher, with a fairly impressive season of 18-6,sat in the dugout. Red Soxmanager Bill Corrigan considered it foolhardyto entrust a World Series gameto a rookieso George Herman"Babe" Ruth warmed the bench.
|For theirfirst "coming out" public appearance together, the presidentand thewidow, Edith Galt, chose the wholesome venue of a baseball game.But not justany game, mind you. A World Series game. |
The third game of the Series being played at Philadelphia's Shibe Park.The twosome watched a contestbetween the Philadelphia Athletics and theBoston Red Sox while many of thefans at the ballpark kept one eye on them.After President Wilson, an avidbaseball fan, tossed out the ceremonialball, home-plate umpire Charlie Rigler returned the ball to the visitingpresident as a souvenir.
Some presidents have been genuinely fondof the game. Others have simplyfound it politically expedient to drapethemselves in the beloved bannerof baseball, especially during an electionyear or in times of personaltrouble. Certainly, few activities offer apresident a greater photo opthan pitching or tossing out a ceremonial ball toopen a new season of baseballor a World Series. Some presidents have hadtheir personal favorite teams.Herbert Hoover, for one, was a die-hard fan ofConnie Mack's PhiladelphiaAthletics.
Most, however, came to adopt thehometown Senatorsas their team. PerhapsRichard Nixon said it best when he said, " You'vegot to be a realbaseball fan to be a fan of the WashingtonSenators." Here's tothe real baseball fans! Vance Garnett
copyright 2000-2006 Vance and Geri Garnett