A pair of former presidents are among the thousands “tipping their caps” to the Negro Leagues in celebration of their upcoming centennial, but Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are sitting on opposite sides of a very important rivalry.
Obama, a diehard White Sox fan, posted a video to his Twitter account Monday honoring the 100th birthday of the Negro Leagues:
“Today, I’m tipping my hat to all the giants in the Negro Leagues, from Satchel Paige to Toni Stone and so many others,” he said. “Their brave example, first set 100 years ago, changed America’s pastime for the better – opening it up for new generations of players and fans alike.”
Clinton stands on the other side of the rivalry, however, wearing a Cubs hat in his video tribute:
“I am proud to join the “Tip Your Cap” campaign in honor of the centennial of the Negro Leagues, and the talented men and women who played in them from 1920 through 1960,” he said. “The Negro Leagues made baseball better and America better.”
Major League Baseball and the Negro Leagues Museum have teamed up this month to encourage baseball fans to post videos to social media to “tip their caps” to the legacy left behind by the Negro Leagues, which saw some of the biggest Black stars in the game move through their ranks between 1920 and 1960.
Legendary players like Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson and Ernie Banks all played in the Negro Leagues before making it to the MLB, and the history of that league is honored in Kansas City at the Negro Leagues Museum.