As Democrats battled fiercely to keep control of the House and Senate, first lady Jill Biden was sought on the campaign trail. But on Friday night, there’s a good chance she’ll be watching Game 1 of the World Series as her beloved Phillies play the Houston Astros.
“The First Lady will closely follow the World Series and cheer for her home team, The Phillies,” her office told CBS News.
According to Colleen Shogan, senior vice president and director of the David M. Rubenstein Center at the White House, there is a time-honored tradition among first ladies to throw ceremonial first pitches, beginning with Pat Nixon throwing the first pitch in 1971. . Historical Association. Nancy Reagan also threw the first pitch in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, and six months later, Barbara Bush threw the first pitch for the Texas Rangers.
Jill Biden is not the first die-hard baseball fan to marry a president. Shogan shared some other examples from White House history:
The Coolidges weren’t the “first couple” to attend a baseball game in the 1920s—an honor belongs to President William Taft and his wife Helen, according to the Shogan—but they were devoted fans. First Lady Grace Coolidge was, in fact, a more devoted fan of the pair.
“The first woman who was historically the biggest baseball fan was Grace Coolidge,” Shogan said. “She came to the White House as a baseball fan, but she was actually an even bigger baseball fan, because at the time the Washington Senators were in the 1924 World Series and she went to a lot of Senators games with the President. . Calvin Coolidge. But she was definitely a big baseball fan, even bigger than the President. She kept the score during the game.”
There was a famous incident, Shogan said, where President Calvin Coolidge wanted to skip one of the World Series games to go back to the White House and Grace Coolidge “pulled off her coat and made her sit back and wait until the game was over.” asked for,” said Shogan.
When the Senators won the World Series in 1924, Coolidge “jumped up and down and was celebrating,” Shogan said.
After Coolidge left office in 1929, he moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, where Grace Coolidge adopted the Boston Red Sox as her home team, and traveled frequently to visit him to play.
“She was known just in the stadium — Fenway Park — as one of the most devoted fans,” Shogan said.
Another big baseball fan in the White House was President Harry Truman’s wife Bess. Although Bess Truman had a reputation for being prominent, she was an athlete as a young woman. He also played baseball with his brothers growing up, which was “unusual in that time period,” Shogan said.
Harry and Bess Truman attended Washington Senators games together, but he was often busy and could not go, so Bess Truman sometimes brought his daughter Margaret with him.
“Even President Truman acknowledged that Bess Truman was a bigger fan of baseball, he was a bigger baseball fan than he was,” Shogan said.
After Truman left office and the couple moved back to Missouri, they adopted the Kansas City Royals. Even in her elderly years after her husband’s death, Bess Truman still listened to Kansas City Royals games on the radio and later on television.
George HW Bush and Barbara Bush moved to West Texas and later the Houston area in 1948, and they adopted Texas baseball teams.
Although a Houston Astros fan, she also rooted for the Texas Rangers when her son, future President George W. Bush, was the team’s chairman. Soon after her husband took over, she threw the first pitch for Rangers in 1989.
According to the Houston Chronicle, George W. Bush wrote in his book “Barbara Bush: Matriarch of a Dynasty” that “not many people know how to score a baseball game,” Barbara Bush was known for her scorekeeping. Bush said he “has vivid memories of watching him sit in our games, keeping score.”
“He kept a detailed scorecard for every game,” former Astros owner Drayton McLane told the Houston Chronicle after his death in 2018. He?’ And I’d have to say, ‘Barbara, I don’t know,’ and ask one of our baseball guys to help her. He would have hundreds of scorecards, all carefully filled out. He said if you must do something, you must do well.’
Bush remained a baseball enthusiast long after leaving the White House in 1993, and in 2017, George HW Bush threw a ceremonial first pitch before Game 5 of the World Series.
According to the Houston Chronicle, following her and her husband’s death in 2018, the Astros paid tribute to both of them on Inauguration Day of 2019, with the Texas Air National Guard’s 149th Fighter Wing operating the flyover. His grandson, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, ceremonial first pitch thrown,
Michelle Obama grew up on Chicago’s South Side, and the Obama family lived in the South Kenwood neighborhood before moving to the White House. Former President Barack Obama made no secret of his loyalty to the South Side team, the Chicago White Sox, but Michelle Obama never spoke about her loyalty until 2012.
At an event at Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day in 2012, Michelle Obama was asked how big a White Sox fan she was and had a surprising answer, according to,
“I grew up a Cubs fan,” she said. “We are having a mixed marriage.”
She said that she supported all of the Chicago teams, although she had a special place in her heart for the Cubs.
“People always wonder, ‘Why are you a fan of the Cubs?’ Because we live on the South side,” she said, according to CBS Chicago. “But I tell them, my dad was a Cubs fan since I was little.”
When the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, President Obama honored the Cubs at the White House. He said Michelle Obama was a “lifelong Cubs fan,” according to NBC.
“I’ll tell you… in the eight years that I’ve been here, we’ve hosted at least 50 teams. Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, you name it,” Obama said. “Michelle hasn’t been to a single event celebrating a champion to date. She came and shook hands and met all these members of the Cubs organization and told a story about what it meant for them to be able to win them. She remembers coming home from school, and her father would be watching a Cubs game, and the bond and family that the Cubs had in terms of connecting with her father and why it meant so much to her.”
Michelle Obama also partnered with Major League Baseball as part of the Let’s Move initiative, throwing outsports in 2010 as part of that program to encourage children to exercise. She also recorded public service announcements with several MLB players.
The Phillies are known to have a devoted fan base, but President Joe Biden has called his wife “the craziest” Phillies fan.
Philadelphia suburb native Jill Biden said watching sports with her father were some of her favorite childhood memories.
“I was a little girl,” she told ABC News in 2009, remembering watching the family’s black-and-white games on Philco TV. “It was a great father-daughter memory for me.”
In the final days of the 2008 campaign when Biden was the vice presidential nominee, Jill Biden and her granddaughter Macy were in a World Series game when the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I have to tell you, my wife, I’m on the campaign trail, she says, ‘Joe, I’m going to the series.'” Said about.
Jill Biden called it “exciting” when the Phillies won, and she later said it was one of the “best nights” of the campaign.
She continued to participate in Phillies games as vice president and throughout Mr. Biden’s time in later years. She has even been photographed embracing the team’s beloved green mascot, Philly Fanatic.
At a campaign event last week, Mr Biden said “even if I don’t like Philly – I would be sleeping alone if I didn’t root for the Philadelphia teams”.