All-Star Game Notebook: Obama low with All-Star first pitch
The All-Star notebook …
ST. LOUIS ó President Barack Obama was true to his word: He didn’t bounce it.
Obama’s ceremonial first pitch at the All-Star game barely reached the plate Tuesday night. St. Louis Cardinals star Albert Pujols helped the president, moving up on the plate and reaching out to scoop the toss.
Obama had warmed up on the White House grounds Monday night, and was determined his pitch would reach the plate on a fly.
“Here they at least had me down in the batting cage practicing with Pujols,” Obama said, referring to his first ceremonial pitch before Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS.
“We did a little practicing in the Rose Garden,” he said.
Wearing a Chicago White Sox jacket, jeans and sneakers, and cheered by the sellout crowd at Busch Stadium.
From right on the rubber, 60 feet and 6 inches away, Obama wound up and bit his lip as he let go. The left-hander grimaced slightly, and gave a fist pump when Pujols ó a Gold Glove first baseman ó made the neat grab.
Obama became the latest Chicago hoopster to try his hand at baseball. Like Michael Jordan, the president looked more natural in his other job.
ST. LOUIS ó Baseball commissioner Bud Selig wants to keep players on drug suspensions from going to the minor leagues before they return.
Manny Ramirez drew sellout crowds last month in the minors when he played two games at Triple-A Albuquerque and three at Class-A Inland Empire on his rehabilitation assignment before his return to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 3.
“I believe that should be changed,” Selig said Tuesday during a one-hour question-and-answer session with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
SELIG ON ROSE
ST. LOUIS ó Twelve years later, Selig still is examining Pete Rose’s application for reinstatement.
The career hits leader agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 after an investigation concluded he bet on the Cincinnati Reds to win while he was manager of the team.
Rose applied for reinstatement in September 1997 and met with Selig in November 2002. His effort to gain reinstatement appeared to falter after he admitted in his 2004 autobiography, “Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars,” that his previous gambling denials were false.
BACK IN 1966
ST. LOUIS ó Brooks Robinson remembers it being a bit steamy the last time the All-Star game came to town.
“That was when it was about 150 degrees,” recalled the Hall of Famer, the MVP of that matchup 43 years ago.
Robinson was exaggerating only a little. It was a scorching 105 degrees on July 12, 1966 when the National League edged the American League 2-1 in 10 innings in 2-month-old Busch Stadium.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre, an NL coach in this game, was with the Atlanta Braves and remembers catching seven or eight innings. And feeling miserable.
“It was really awful,” Torre said. “I got up to hit one time, swung and missed and kind of lost my breath. That’s how hot it was.”
Fox baseball broadcaster Tim McCarver, then the Cardinals’ catcher, scored the winning run after subbing for Torre.
“When he came out, I said, ‘How’re you doing, pro?’ He said, ‘Only 12 salt tablets.’ Back in those days, we thought salt tablets did everything. But I’d never heard of someone taking more than four.”