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Barack Obama, a lefty, to start All-Star baseball game

June 23, 2009 |  5:55 pm
Barack Obama throws out a pitch at a Chicago White Sox game

Major League Baseball announced today that known basketball fan Barack Obama, who never got around to going down the street in Washington to see a hockey playoff game, will travel all the way to St. Louis in three weeks to be the starting pitcher in baseball's annual All-Star Game.

The 47-year-old liberal southpaw out of Chicago known for his eloquent fastballs and embarrassing gutterballs is expected to be pulled after one pitch, the ceremonial opening one.

He'll be, of course, standing to throw the ball in Busch Stadium in front of a nationwide Fox Sports TV audience during Missouri's vaunted mid-summer humidity. But he'll also be only the fourth sitting president to do so -- after John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. That makes 2 D's and 2 R's now out of 44 total presidents, although early presidents were not fans. (Scroll down for a complete list of all presidential appearances at the mid-summer classic.)

This being politics, there is, not surprisingly, a catch to the president's appearance.

The league has dedicated this 80th All-Star Game to calling attention to and raising money for volunteer community service, a cause that you-know-who and his wife, you-know-her, have long supported, having been community organizers in their previous lives as White Sox fans you-know-where.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Barack Obama practices for the All Star Game as long ago as 1963

1937     President Franklin D. Roosevelt
1962     President John F. Kennedy threw out the Ceremonial First Pitch
1970     President Richard Nixon threw out the Ceremonial First Pitch
1976     President Gerald Ford threw out the Ceremonial First Pitch
1978     Former President Gerald Ford threw out the Ceremonial First Pitch
1989     Former President Ronald Reagan
1991     President George H.W. Bush with Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
1992     President George H.W. Bush with President Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico

Photo credits: Associated Press; BarackObama.com (Obama as a minor in the minors).

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