President Barrack Obama threw out the opening pitch to start the 1st game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals. This is a President who defied countless odds to become this country’s 1st African American President. Throwing a batting practice fastball straight down the middle of the plate should have been no problem, right? Right? Well, how about left, as in far left, which is the errant direction his ball sailed. This must have given validation to Republicans who accuse Obama of ignoring bipartisanship. So, it got me thinking. What Presidents would have made better pitchers than Obama? Here goes a list of 5 Presidents that would have been great pitchers.
1.Thomas Jefferson: Jefferson moved up through the Minors with moderate success, and never had an agent. He was considered a master at penning his own contracts, which, to the confusion of general managers everywhere, always demanded he have freedom from tyranny. He finally made it to a Big League rotation, taking the spot of one Benjamin Franklin, who failed a drug test that season and every season afterward. Jefferson became the #2 ace on a staff behind arch-nemesis John Adams, who also made the rotation, much to the joy of his wife, Abigail, who couldn’t stand Adams’ constant complaints of being stuck in the Minors for 8 years. After Adams left, and Jefferson took over, he was the 1st pitcher to say a prayer on the mound before every game. But his success had nothing to do with answered prayers. He would often take opposing batters out for tax-less whiskey the night before the game. The hitters were so hung over in the morning, they could barely keep their focus enough to hit any of Jefferson’s pitches. Worst yet, the batters always had a sinking feeling that they had listened to one of Jefferson’s speeches, and actually enjoyed it, in their drunken states the previous night.
Best Pitch: Knuckle ball. Most hitters did not appreciate Jefferson’s need to explain the philosophy behind the unpredictable movements of his knuckle ball every time he struck out a batter.
2. Andrew Jackson: Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” As Jackson stared down a batter, who almost homered off him 2 innings ago, he said, “There’s nothing to fear, but the high heat I’m about to smash your face in with.” Jackson’s success as a pitcher didn’t have so much to do with talent rather than with threatening to beam ball any batter who hit off him. Jackson finished his pitching career with a 0.00 ERA. After killing the batter Charles Dickinson with a fastball to the head for booing his wife Rachel’s rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch, no hitter would ever stand close enough to the plate to make contact again.
Best Pitch: All of them. Because no matter what Jackson threw, it was going to hurt.
3. Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln was the Randy Johnson of his time, although his chin wig made him much prettier. His Goliath height and long reach intimidated any batter he faced. Would you want to hit against a pitcher whose top hat can blot out the Sun? He is most noted for ending the civil war between the American and National Leagues. The AL sought to succeed from MLB, because their pitchers refused to bat during inter-league play. Lincoln, a big stickler for the rules and MLB’s spokesperson, would have none of it. “In your baby soft hands, my scared fellow pitchers, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. MLB will not assail you… You have no oath registered with the Baseball gods to not learn the art of the bunt, while I shall have the solemn one to preserve, protect and defend the tradition of AL hitters looking hilariously silly when swinging a bat.”
Best Pitch: Inside cutter, which Lincoln often used to shatter the hitter’s bat into sharp wooden stakes he would secretly use to slay the living dead.
4. John F. Kennedy: Kennedy was a great overachiever. He was the youngest pitcher in MLB history at 3-years-old. He often sponsored dollar hot day nights out of his own pocket for fans. “Ask not what the fans can do for you, but for what you can do for the fans,” he’d often say to a locker room full of confused Yankee players. Kennedy had been placed on the disabled list when he turned 5, while suffering a mean growth spurt. During his year off, he wrote a historical book about baseball that won him a Pulitzer, because, for once, a book about baseball had been written and it wasn’t about steroids. When Kennedy returned at age 6, with permission from his parents and a leave of absence from grade school, he championed for the rights of bat boys and ball girls. He was the most popular player ever… but too bad he was such a horrible pitcher. He was worse than Obama, but still had a 350 win career. With a wink and a flash of his pearly whites after every ball thrown, no umpire could resist being real generous with the strike zone, which was a good thing, since he finished his career in Philadelphia.
Best Pitch: He’s lucky he was pretty.
5. Richard Nixon: Most pitchers nowadays will read scouting reports and watch tape of the batters they’re about to face. Nixon? He ordered his personal trainer to plant recording devices in the other team’s locker room, and listened to them admit their weaknesses right from their very own mouths. Plus, with his adorable dog Checkers cradled in his glove, by the time a hitter stopped saying, “Awwwww!” the 3-2 fastball right down the middle of the plate was already in the catcher’s glove.
Best Pitch: The Nixon Spitball. The Spitball is already an illegal pitch to begin with. Nixon’s was special in that it tried to bribe a hitter to strike out as it broke over the plate.