Tuesday, April 8, 2014



Atlanta, Georgia (JFK+50)"Hammerin" Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his long-awaited 715th career home run 40 years ago today on April 8, 1974 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium before a record crowd of 53,775.

The home run, hit off Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher Al Downing in the fourth inning, broke George Herman "Babe" Ruth's career record of 714.

Vince Scully, Dodger play by play announcer, said during his radio broadcast of the game:

"What a marvelous moment for baseball; what a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia; what a marvelous moment for the country and the world. 

A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol."

Hank Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

          Aaron's "Record Setting" Jersey


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy threw out what would be his last ceremonial "first pitch" of the Major League baseball season fifty one years ago today, April 8, 1963.

The ceremony was held at DC Stadium here in the Nation's Capital.

              RHP JFK Throws Out 1st Pitch
                      1962 All-Star Game
            Photo by Cecil W. Stoughton
                    JFK Library Image

The tradition of Presidents of the United States throwing out the ceremonial 1st pitch began with William Howard Taft on April 14, 1910 when he attended the opening game between the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Athletics.

Every president has participated in at least one ceremonial first pitch since that time.

The 1st Democratic president to throw out the 1st pitch was Woodrow Wilson in 1913.

                  President Woodrow Wilson
                               April 20, 1916

As a possible warning of trouble to come, Warren G. Harding's 1st pitch was followed by the first loss of the Washington Nationals in an opening game at which a president threw out the 1st pitch.

Franklin D. Roosevelt holds the record, as might be expected with his election to 4 terms as president, at NINE 1st pitches.

On his 8th 1st pitch, however, Mr. Roosevelt's throw hit a Washington Post camera.

The ambidextrous Harry S Truman threw 2 1st pitches in 1950, 1 left-handed & 1 right-handed.

            LHP President Harry Truman
             Managers: Lou Boudrea and
               Stanley "Bucky" Harris
               Truman Library Photo

Richard M. Nixon "relieved" Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959 becoming the 1st sitting Vice-President to throw out the 1st pitch.

John F. Kennedy, the youngest elected president, was also the youngest president to throw out a first pitch while Ronald Wilson Reagan was the oldest.

             President Ronald Reagan
               Wrigley Field, Chicago
                  September 30, 1988
        White House/RR Library Photo*

*RR threw 2 1st pitches at a Cubs-Pirates regular season game.

In 1990, George H.W. Bush became the first president to throw out the 1st pitch in Canada at the opening game at the Sky Dome in Toronto.

President Bush also threw out the 1st pitch at the new Camden Yards stadium in Baltimore in 1992.

In 1993, Bill Clinton changed the tradition by becoming the first president to throw the first pitch from the pitcher's mound on opening day of the baseball season.  This event also took place at Camden Yards.

On October 12, 2005, president to be Senator Barack Obama threw out the first pitch of Game 2 of the ALCS game between the White Sox and Angels in Chicago. 

 Mr. Obama suited up for the event by wearing a White Sox home uniform.

In 2010, President Barack Obama threw out the 1st pitch marking the 100th anniversary of the custom of the presidential first pitch ceremony.