Say what you will about President Bush Jr. (I certainly do) but there are few other presidents who I would pick before him to throw out a first pitch. The man brought the heat, he had great form, and he threw from the mound instead of in front of it. If American presidents were ranked based on ability not to embarrass themselves/their country while throwing out the first pitch (which I was surprised to find out that they aren't) Bush II would certainly be up there. Here is my list of best and worst Presidents in terms of ability to throw out the first pitch:
1. George Washington- If baseball was around back then General Washington would have probably broken the catcher's hand on every single throw. I have no doubt he could reach 102 MPH with his fastball and buckle knees with his 68 MPH overhand curveball. Simply put, he would have been the greatest pitcher ever.
2. George Bush I- The first Bush was a hell of a ballplayer in his day. He was the first baseman and captain of Yale's baseball team in the late '40s and led them to two college world series. He's the second starter based on the fact that he's a lefty.
3. Teddy Roosevelt- The El Guapo of his day, Teddy Roosevelt used his generous bulk to his advantage with his fastball coming in at respectable 94 MPH. Combine that with his signature Bull-Moose Knuckleball and he was nearly unhittable.
4. Calvin Coolidge- Silent Cal didn't have the best stuff but what he lacked in talent he made up for in mound presence and intimidation. Coolidge OWNED the inside corner and had no fear beaning ambitious batsmen who tried to wrest it from him. Few people took issue with his hard-nosed pitching style because they were afraid of him, especially after he beat up Robin Ventura when he charged the mound.
5. John F. Kennedy- Just look at that face, no way he couldn't reach 96 MPH.
Closer- George Bush II- As discussed above, he's clearly played ball before and is in phenomenal shape for a president. And he certainly has the cocky-asshole/closer attitude down pat.
1. FDR- It's tough to throw a strike while sitting down. (Too soon?)
2. William Taft- Taft actually was the first president to throw out a first pitch at a ballgame. He was also morbidly obese.
3. James Madison- If you're wondering why Madison is on this list, try grabbing a basketball and playing baseball with it; that's what playing with an actual baseball was like for Madison, who had tiny carny hands and smelled like cabbage.
4. William H. Harrison- His body wasn't built for the rigors of a 162 game season.
5. Hillary Clinton (if elected)- no explanation necessary.
Closer- Warren G. Harding- The Teapot Dome was the Coors Field of its day, mainly because Harding gave up more go-ahead home runs than Byung-Hun Kim and John Wasdin combined.
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