“This Sunday on Meet the Press I’ll have an exclusive interview with a former president of the United States who has found his way back to Washington for a new role at Nationals Park,” Chuck announced. “Who is it? What will he be doing? We will reveal on Sunday morning. I can tell you this: It is this former president’s third appearance on Meet the Press.”
Hoover was on “Meet The Press” in 1955 and then again in 1959, at the age of 85, ahead of Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev’s visit to the country. The Herbert Hoover Foundation has not yet responded to a request for comment on their namesake’s latest honor.
The Nationals introduced Calvin Coolidge in early July 2015, but when the sharp-dressed leader failed to make an appearance at Thursday’s home opener, many wondered where Silent Cal had raced off to. As it turns out, Coolidge was simply a visiting racer, not a permanent addition. Coolidge finished the season with 12 race victories, good for fourth place, ahead only of Thomas Jefferson.
As Dan Steinberg pointed out in July, the Nationals have partnered with the White House Historical Association and just like last year with Coolidge, this year’s selection was the same as the Association’s yearly Christmas ornament — a trend to keep an eye on as new presidents join their fellow American leaders on the warning track.
While last season’s addition of Coolidge proved to be both a popular and enlightening one, it would seem that this season’s entry will be one of the organization’s best opportunities to educate Nationals fans on one of the nation’s most misunderstood presidents.
Hoover was inaugurated March 4, 1929, just eight months before Black Tuesday, Oct. 29, and the stock market crash would throw a monkey wrench in the plans of the former humanitarian and Secretary of Commerce’s plans. Hoover bore much of the blame and rage that stemmed from the Great Depression, and, despite his efforts to combat the tragic times with public works projects like the Hoover Dam, much of the nation maligned the Iowan president in the following years for what his perceived role in the market’s crash.
Even away from the financial issues that plagued the country, Hoover was not exactly a good luck charm for the Washington Senators. Unlike his racing predecessor, the capital’s home team failed to perform admirably in front of Hoover, as the team went a paltry 1-5 with the 31st president in attendance.
However, the poor performance did not deter Hoover’s love for the game, as the noted Quaker was quoted as saying, “Next to religion, baseball has furnished a greater impact on American life than any other institution.”
Come Sunday, the former “no good” shortstop will have a chance join that institution and push his career record back over .500.