Baseball’s traditional Opening Day is Monday, although in the age of lighted stadiums and TV, the first game will actually be played Sunday night on ESPN (predictably pairing the Yankees and Red Sox). Obama will throw the first pitch Monday for the dreadful Washington Nationals, who are coming off a 100+ loss season. So we take a look back at the intertwined histories of baseball and politics, starting with this photo of Babe Ruth and George H.W. Bush, just before the Babe’s death in 1948:
Late Update: TPM Reader MD objects to my passive-aggressive reaction to ESPN giving its Sunday primetime slot to the Yankees v. Red Sox:
David writes “the first game will actually be played Sunday night on ESPN (predictably pairing the Yankees and Red Sox).” This must be some strange new sense of “predictable” in which things which haven’t happened in 25 years are predictable. The last time those two teams faced each other in their first series of the year was 1985.
Later Update: No, no, no, says TPM Reader JW:
The Red Sox and Yankees opened the season much more recently than 25 years ago. They opened the season in 2005. MLB has decided to start the season with the World Champion for the past several years, though they typically do so with a rematch of the League Championship Series (remember the Sox and Yankees had played a series for the ages the year before). For some reason, probably because Yankees/Sox is a moneymaker in a way that Yanks/Twins is not, MLB has switched it up a bit this year.
p.s. Here’s a link to the ‘05 schedule.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.