1958: President Eisenhower weighs in on the Nats

Wednesday August 27, 1958

On the field, the last place Senators dropped a pitcher’s duel when Billy Pierce and the White Sox outpitched Camillo Pascual for a 2-1 victory in front of just over 4,000 people at Griffith Stadium. The woes for baseball in Washington, combined with the persistent rumors of a move west, prompted the Commander-in-Chief to weigh in on the situation.

From the UPI article in the New York Times:

President Eisenhower said today the Washington Senators should build a better ball club and stay in the nation’s capital. The club has been considering a move to Minneapolis.

The President told his news conference that if the last-place American League team “had a fighting chance, on the average, of getting into the first division,” he would attend more of their night games.

“Unfortunately,” he added, “because of my present position I am not a paying customer.”

The President, who has a season pass, said he “therefore can’t help keep this club here.” But he said if the team’s chances were better he was “practically certain the city would demand that they stay here, and I think they should.”

The UPI report went on to say that the President had not attended a game since he threw out the first pitch on opening day at Griffith Stadium, and added that the President had never attended more than two games in a season.


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