TIME Baseball

Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorates Obama’s Opening Pitch

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, May 22, 2014. Jonathan Ernst—Reuters

President Barack Obama's pitch at the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was definitely far from the strike zone, but Cooperstown will honor the moment anyway

President Barack Obama became the first acting U.S. head of state to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday, where he donated the Chicago White Sox jacket he wore during the All-Star Game in St. Louis five years ago.

“I love baseball. America loves baseball. It continues to be our national pastime,” Obama said at a press conference.

The President’s stop at the illustrious museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., aimed to promote both tourism and initiatives to improve airport protocol for foreign and domestic travelers in the U.S.

“If they come into JFK faster, if they come into LaGuardia faster, then they can get to Cooperstown faster,” he said.

During a brief tour of the institution’s exhibits, Obama, who openly flaunts love for his hometown franchise, took special time to check out the historic artifacts from White Sox history.

The nation’s Commander-in-Chief also showed off his self-deprecating sense of humor by jesting about the 2009 All-Star Game, when he failed to put the ball over the plate during the opening pitch.

“I hear that with all the media attention about it, there was also some interest in the jeans I wore that night,” said Obama. “But Michelle retired those jeans quite a while back.”

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