Calendar | Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County

'Baseball and the Presidency' July 7 at presidential library

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[June 29, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- Even before Gerald Ford said, "I watch a lot of baseball on the radio," and Ronald Reagan quipped, "Baseball is our national pastime, that is if you discount political campaigning," the nation's pastime and our national leaders have been linked. The connections between the two will be explored by baseball historian Mel Marmer during a special presentation on July 7 at 2 p.m. at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield.

Marmer, of Cincinnati, has given more than 50 presentations in the last five years on baseball and the presidency, including programs at the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Eisenhower, Truman, Ford and Roosevelt presidential libraries.

Marmer will briefly explore the relationships between our pre-1900 presidents and Major League Baseball before focusing his main presentation on 20th-century presidents. For instance, Dwight D. Eisenhower is the only president to play professional baseball; John F. Kennedy, the first to dedicate a new ballpark; Ronald Reagan, the first to make a game's first pitch standing on the pitcher's mound; Harry S Truman, the first to throw a baseball ambidextrously; and Franklin D. Roosevelt, the first president to throw a first pitch at an All Star Game.

The hourlong event is free and open to the public. Marmer's presentation will be in the Multi-Purpose Room at the presidential library.

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The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band will play Civil War-era music in the adjacent Union Square Park at 11 a.m. that day to precede the baseball lecture. The outdoor concert is free and open to the public.

For more information about programs and exhibits at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visit

[Text from file received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]

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