Friday, January 25, 2013

Nats to add 5th racing president--will it be Reagan?

Lincoln--#16 for the Nationals
During the fourth inning at every home Washington Nationals game there is a race between four big-head caricatures of former American presidents--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. John F. Kennedy pinch hit once. Via Twitter, the Nats say they are adding a fifth commander-in-chief to its regular line-up of sluggers.

In Yahoo! Sports, David Brown offers odds on who will win that coveted roster spot. His favorite, with 5-1 odds, is Ronald Reagan. Although best known for his ties to football, he was an offensive lineman at Dixon High School and Eureka College--and Reagan's best-known movie role was Notre Dame All-American George Gipp, he is closely linked to America's Pastime as well.

From an Iowa studio, Reagan was a radio play-by-play announcer--with the aid of a telegraph machine--of Chicago Cubs and White Sox games. And while covering the Cubs in California during spring training, Reagan performed a Hollywood screen test. Baseball brought Reagan to California. And if he hadn't been governor of the Golden State, I don't think Reagan wouldn't have become president.

Clearly, Reagan is the obvious choice to be the next racing president.

Closer to home--my home, that is--there is a fight to save the only Chicago residence of our 40th president.

UPDATE January 26: The Nationals chose William Howard Taft as the fifth racer. Taft has some redeeming qualities. He was a conservative Republican who was a pretty good president. He was the only president to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the portly Ohioan started the tradition of presidents throwing the ceremonial first pitches at Washington opening day games. Still, it should have been Reagan. Perhaps the Nats' Taft will be promoted to Chief Justice--which will leave an opening for the more athletic Reagan.

Chicago Reagan apartment posts:
Reagan's Chicago home
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An American Life By Reagan, Ronald (Google Affiliate Ad)

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