U.S. presidents in sports
United States presidents from the past 100 years have included sports fans, former athletes and one-time broadcasters. Read about Richard Nixon's spot in Redskins history, Bill Clinton's golf game and Barack Obama's Chicago fandom.
"Next to religion, baseball has furnished a greater impact on American life than any other institution," Hoover said. The former president played shortstop growing up and said baseball is the greatest of all team sports. He attended a great number of baseball games while in office and threw out first pitches in the 1929, 1930 and 1931 World Series.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
The former president played football at West Point but experienced a series of knee injuries that brought his playing days to an early end. Eisenhower later served as the junior varsity coach and yell leader before graduating in 1915.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
The huge Boston Red Sox fan never had an opportunity to attend a Sox game while in office, but he did have a staff member act as his official "Undersecretary of Baseball." Kennedy's fanhood stemmed from his grandfather, former Boston mayor John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, who was a member of The Royal Rooters, a Boston Red Sox fan club. In this photo, Kennedy appears with baseball greats, from left, Ted Williams, Eddie Pellagrini and Hank Greenberg.
According to the Washington Post's Shirley Povich, Nixon spoke to Redskins coach George Allen the night before Washington took on the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the 1971 NFC playoffs, offering advice on how to beat the 49ers. Nixon suggested that Allen run an end-around with Roy Jefferson. Allen took the former president's advice, and the play went for a 13-yard loss. The subsequent field-goal attempt was blocked, and the Redskins went on to lose the game, but Nixon lives on in Reskins lore.
Ford was a star football player at the University of Michigan. He was named the MVP in 1934, and his No. 48 jersey was retired at a game on Oct. 8, 1944. Michigan coach Brady Hoke said the team is looking to honor Ford by unretiring his number and allowing a deserving player wear it.
Hailing from Plains, Ga., former President Carter is an Atlanta Braves fan. At 87 years old, the former president still attends games to cheer on his hometown team.
Before beginning his professional acting career, the 40th President of the United States was a sports broadcaster. After graduating from Eureka College, he landed a job with WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, where he called games for his favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, from telegraph accounts. Reagan is seen above with then-Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray when he made a surprise visit to Wrigley Field.
The Arkansas native is an avid golfer who grew up caddying at a local course in Hot Springs. Perhaps not by coincidence, Clinton said his best year of golf was the year he got out of the White House, when he got himself down to a 10 handicap.
GEORGE AND GEORGE W. BUSH
Before becoming the President of the United States, George W. Bush was one of two managing general partners for the Texas Rangers from 1989-1994. Even in his time working with the Rangers, he sat down at field level instead of in the luxury box to root on his team. Above, Bush is seen posing with his father after throwing out the first pitch of Game 4 of the 2010 World Series.
Hailing from Chicago's South Side, President Barack Obama is a huge Chicago sports fan. In the photo above, he's seen throwing out the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox game, but he loves his Bulls and Bears too. Obama's fanhood isn't limited to just Chicago. He's appeared on ESPN to discuss his March Madness bracket, and he often plays basketball and golf on the weekends.