Apr 17

This Day in D.C. Baseball History – April 14, 1910

Many great baseball traditions started here in the Nation’s Capital. One of the most famous of these traditions is throwing out the first pitch on opening day by the President of the United States.

On April 14, 1910, William H. Taft started the tradition after umpire Billy Evans handed him the baseball. To the joy of the fans, President Taft threw the ball to Walter Johnson. The Big Train goes on to pitch a one-hitter and one of his 110 career shutouts.

The tradition of throwing out the first pitch has been done at least once during every presidency, except for President Carter’s.

As I was doing research on this I found out that this tradition almost did not happen. Just a few weeks before attending the game between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics, the car that President Taft was traveling in was in a bad collision in New York City. The car was hit by a trolley car and dragged a half of block on 8th Avenue. The article went on to say that no one was serious hurt, but the President was shaken.