Theodore Roosevelt, it seems, did not think highly of the game of baseball. This revelation saddens me somewhat, as Roosevelt is one of my top two favorite Presidents in United States history (the other being Abraham Lincoln). In 1909, Grantland Rice published this piece in Baseball Magazine in an attempt to coax the President into a favorable perspective by highlighting the aspects of the game that Roosevelt would be most likely to find appealing.
That’s the only job for you, take your tip now, Theodore,
Think of how your pulse will leap when you hear the angry roar.
Of the bleacher gods in rage, you will find the action there,
Which you’ve hunted for in vain, in the Presidential chair.
Chasing mountain lions and such, catching grizzlies will seem tame,
Lined up with the jolt you’ll get in the thick of some close game.
Choking angry wolves to death as a sport will stack up raw,
When you see Kid Elberfeld swinging for your under jaw.
When you hear Hugh Jennings roar, “Call them strikes, you lump of cheese!”
Or McGraw rushing in, kicking at your shins and knees.