America’s pastime gets presidential in these rare vintage baseball videos

Harmon Killebrew, of the Washington Senators, shakes hands with President Dwight D. Eisenhower before the start of a baseball game against Boston in 1959. (Harvey Georges/AP)

Last week, rare video footage surfaced showing the 1919 World Series. This week, unseen video footage surfaced showing the 1956 opening day at Memorial Stadium — in color. The story, according to the YouTube user who posted it is: “I found it in a box in an antiques store.”

The video doesn’t have any sound, but it’s still kind of fun to watch.

As with all baseball videos, we here at The Early Lead fell into the rabbit hole that is the Internet and ended up finding some more cool stuff, such as three mid-century presidents throwing opening day pitches out for the old Washington Senators. These videos are black and white, but they have sound.

Here’s President Truman opening the season in 1949.

Here’s President Eisenhower christening the season in 1957.

And if you want one more, here’s President Johnson opening baseball season in 1964.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.



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Cindy Boren · May 10, 2014

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