Obama’s All-Star game pitch doesn’t bounce

ST. LOUIS (AP) — President Barack Obama was true to his word: He didn’t bounce it.

Obama’s ceremonial first pitch at the All-Star game barely reached the plate Tuesday night. St. Louis Cardinals star Albert Pujols helped the president, moving up on the plate and reaching out to scoop the low toss.

Obama had warmed up on the White House grounds Monday night, and was determined his pitch would get there on a fly.

“We did a little practicing in the Rose Garden,” he said during a half-inning with the FOX broadcasters. “This is as much fun as I’ve had in quite some time.”

Wearing a Chicago White Sox jacket, jeans and sneakers, and cheered by the sellout crowd at Busch Stadium, Obama walked out of the National League’s dugout on the first-base side, shook hands with Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial and trotted to the mound.

From right on the rubber, 60 feet and 6 inches away, Obama wound up and bit his lip as he let go. The left-hander grimaced slightly, and gave a fist pump when Pujols — a Gold Glove first baseman — made the neat grab with a specially made black mitt with “Obama 44” and an American flag on it.

Obama became the latest Chicago hoopster to try his hand at baseball. Like Michael Jordan, the president looked more natural in his other job.

“I did not play organized baseball when I was a kid and so, you know, I think some of these natural moves aren’t so natural to me,” Obama said.

The All-Star game capped off a big sports outing for the president. He began the day by greeting Wimbledon champion Serena Williams at the White House, then picked up Hall of Famer Willie Mays in Michigan for the flight to St. Louis.

Asked what advice he gave Obama, the Say Hey Kid said: “Follow through.”

“He’ll be fine. I guarantee it,” Mays said aboard Air Force One.

This was the second time Obama threw out a first ball at a big league game. As a U.S. senator, he did it when his favorite White Sox played the Angels in the 2005 AL championship series.

“When you’re a senator, they show you no respect so they just hand you the ball. You don’t get a chance to warm up,” Obama said. “Here, at least they had me down with Pujols in the batting cage, practicing a little bit.”

Obama’s motorcade left the ballpark in the bottom of the fourth inning, and he was due back at the White House shortly after midnight EDT.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story
Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks