MLB Owners Disliked Obama's Sox Jacket

Brass wanted Obama to wear All-Star jacket, but President declined

By Eamonn Brennan
|  Tuesday, Jul 21, 2009  |  Updated 12:26 PM CDT
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2009 MLB All-Star Game

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Barack Obama said no thanks to the All-Star jacket, to the chagrin of MLB brass everywhere.

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President Obama has never made any bones about his baseball allegiance. Unlike most politicians, who swerve from one team to another based on what looks most politically viable -- who could forget Rudy Guiliani's famous dalliance with the Red Sox during his horrific primary campaign? -- Obama has never pretended to like the Chicago Cubs, or really another other baseball team, as much as he likes the Sox of his adopted South Side.

This actually ends up being a political positive for Obama. Fans can relate to this, and not only White Sox fans. Anyone who likes one team and dislikes another will respect someone who does the same, even if those teams are polar opposites. It's just good fandom.

But it turns out not everybody's so thrilled about Obama's lack of flexibility on the issue. Before Obama threw the first pitch of the 2009 All-Star Game, there was no small amount of consternation among MLB brass about his choice of a White Sox jacket. According to adviser David Axelrod, MLB wanted Obama to wear the standard All-Star jacket. Obama wasn't interested:

Axelrod said he had a long talk with Obama before the game because some Major League Baseball executives weren't happy about the decision. "There was a big controversy," he said. "I think Major League Baseball wanted him to wear the All-Star jacket, and he was intent on wearing his White Sox jacket. He prevailed in that."

Um, yeah. When you're the President of the United States, and you've found time in your busy schedule to honor MLB's little game-that-tries-to-matter-but-doesn't with your presence, you get to wear whichever team jacket you like. And if MLB doesn't like it, perhaps there's an antitrust exemption discussion Bud Selig would like to have with the executive branch? What's that? No? Didn't think so.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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