Obama Clears Home Plate -- Sort Of

With a nation watching, Barack tosses a decent first pitch at All Star game

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    President Barack Obama throws out the ceremonial first pitch during the MLB All-Star baseball game in St. Louis, Tuesday, July 14.

    The Lefty-Leftist did it, but with a little help from the catcher.

    With the nation watching, or at least those with a passing interest in baseball, President Barack Obama almost cleared the plate while tossing out the first pitch in the Major League Baseball All-Star game Tuesday.

    Wearing a Chicago White Sox training jacket and some ill-fitting Levi's, Obama jogged out to the plate in St. Louis with a wide grin and wound up for the highly anticipated throw.

    The pitch wasn't fast, but it hit the glove of crouching First Baseman Albert Pujols -- who kindly scooped the ball before it made contact with the dirt without clearing home plate.

    Obama, who was clearly concerned about the ceremonial toss, pumped his fist once to celebrate not making a fool out of himself.

    Before the game, Obama, whose basketball skills are well documented, said he wanted to warm up for the throw and recalled his strategy when throwing out the first pitch of a 2005 American League Championship Series in 2005. There was some trepidation about the commander in chief's ability to throw with observers pointing to his bowling game and affinity for Star Trek as evidence.

    “I just wanted to keep it high,” he said. “Now, there was no clock on it. I don't know how fast it went. But if it exceeded 30 miles per hour, I'd be surprised. But it did clear the plate.”

    At Tuesday's All-Star game, Obama was given a rousing ovation for his toss -- but fans will probably rate him behind George W. Bush in pitching prowess after the previous president threw a perfect fastball at Yankee Stadium shortly after 9/11/01.