Presidential First Pitch Scouting Report

Taft

Taft
Short-arms his follow through. Blocks his rotation a bit by keeping his glove hand in his pocket. Too fat.

Wilson

Wilson
Loses power due to his insistence in punching the air when he throws.

Harding

Harding
Lets pitching hand fly away from body too much. Body language signifies he does not take it seriously.

Coolidge

Coolidge
Reliance on guard rail shows stability issues. Tries to throw a type of knuckleball,but his grip does not provide the necessary flutter for it to be effective.

Hoover

Hoover
Lets his glove-side arm hang off his body like a side of pork. Does not actually look at his target — watches the ball instead.

FDR

FDR
Stupidly-high release point. Looks like he’s trying to dunk a basketball. Ball only goes about 30 feet. Guard rail issues.

Truman

Truman
Leans a little too far back on windup. Glove arm flies outward. Uses his hat as a counterbalance, which would need to be fixed. LOOGY potential.

Eisenhower

Eisenhower
Terrible mechanics. Probably not fixable. Holds his glove arm it like he’s avoiding a punch. Barely bends throwing elbow. Doesn’t look at target.

JFK

JFK
Max-effort guy. Arm doesn’t have much pronation after release. Narrow shoulders, but good baseball body.

LBJ

LBJ
Plus glove, in that he’s the first I’ve seen who has one. Arm flies out a little, but, overall, has pretty good form.

Nixon

Nixon
Poor windup. Leans too far back. Does not even attempt to hide the ball. Uses glove arm for balance well.

Ford

Ford
Has fairly good trunk rotation. Tends to fall off the mound a lot.

Carter

Carter
Throws from a three-quarter slot with some consistency. A little too rigid in his delivery. Good clubhouse guy — tends to be a peacekeeper.

Reagan

Reagan
Side-armer with good velocity. A little thick in the middle, and a little old for his level.

HW Bush

H.W. Bush
Too upright on the mound. Insists on using ancient glove. Promotion would not be prudent at this time.

Clinton

Clinton
Mechanics will lead to elbow injuries. Short stride. Looks at the sky during delivery.

W Bush

W. Bush
Best delivery I’ve seen so far. Nice, easy motion to home. Another good clubhouse guy. Gives everybody a nickname.

Obama

Obama
Good baseball body. Keeps himself in shape. Decent hitter as well. Will have to move to the field if he keeps insisting on wearing a flak jacket while playing.

(pics via the pot of gold at the end of the Internet rainbow known as Reddit)




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David G. Temple is the Managing Editor of TechGraphs and a contributor to FanGraphs, NotGraphs and The Hardball Times. He hosts the award-eligible podcast Stealing Home. Dayn Perry once called him a "Bible Made of Lasers." Follow him on Twitter @davidgtemple.


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IZZY2112
Member
IZZY2112

Was it not until the 1980s that they started throwing first pitches from the mound? Was it just Presidents that threw it from the seats or did everyone do that? When did first pitches from the mound (or near it) become common?

Hank
Guest
Hank

yeah, ceremonial first pitches were a) not thrown before every game, and b) a relatively quiet affair where a dignitary in the stands throws the ball UNTIL ronald reagan threw one from the mound. at which point they started being thrown from there every time and then started happening every day and now teams view it as a slot they have to fill, which is how you get Bear Grylls throwing a flaming first pitch. see this new york times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/sports/baseball/baseballs-first-pitch-loses-its-exclusivity.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

Jimbo
Guest
Jimbo

Well done.

ettin
Guest
ettin

You missed a perfect opportunity, with Tricky Dick, to say “He has a deceptive delivery”.

Chone Figgins
Guest
Chone Figgins

“Does not even attempt to hide the ball” was much better, IMHO

jfree
Member
jfree

It’s hard to scout him because his video is missing some very large gaps.

jim
Guest
jim

high-larious

steex
Guest
steex

Just imagine what Nixon could do with a shiny robot body!

Richard Nixon's head
Guest
Richard Nixon's head

I remember my body. Flabby, pasty-skinned, riddled with phlebitis. A good Republican body.

Motley Yu
Guest
Motley Yu

I always thought he said flabitis, as in swelling of the flab, which I guess is a little redundant.

Alexander Nevermind
Guest
Alexander Nevermind

Nobody uses the Outman Methodology despite it being “repeatedly demonstrably and scientifically validly and irrefutably the least complex, the most efficient, the most effective, the highest performing and the least injurious mechanical employ of the human physiology for overhand pitching and throwing of a baseball that ever has been (or ever will be) engineered in the entire history of the sport of baseball anywhere on the entire face of planet Earth.” Looks like the attack on Fritz Outman goes all the way to the top!

Twink
Guest
Twink

1) It hasn’t been proven, although it is one of the most scientifically-based pitching theories. It definitely deserves more research, though.
2) It hasn’t been proven to produce velocity (Josh didn’t throw that hard until he switched mechanics).
3) Even if you can prevent injuries, we are talking about the top .001% of pitchers in the world. You need every edge you can get, and throwing 85-90 mph is unlikely to land you in the big leagues, no matter how you can avoid injury.

Alexander Nevermind
Guest
Alexander Nevermind

It was a joke, and that was a quote from Fritz. You’re on NotGraphs.

PioneerSkies
Guest

Looks like JFK has the best fadeaway jump shot.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
Member
BenRevereDoesSteroids

I hear FDR has a high leg kick.

Taft's Wild Pitch
Guest
Taft's Wild Pitch

Ahem. You mention my likeness to the Babe as if it’s a bad thing?

triple_r
Member

Is it just me, or does Obama look a lot like Nixon?

Dick Nixon
Guest
Dick Nixon

If I had a son, he’d look a lot like Barack Obama.

reillocity
Guest
reillocity

WAR Leaderboard

Eisenhower, 4
Truman, 3
Kennedy, 2
Nixon, 2
Ford, 2
H. W. Bush, 2
Wilson, 1
Roosevelt, 1
Johnson, 1
Reagan, 1
W. Bush, 1
Obama, 1
Taft, 0
Harding, 0
Coolidge, 0
Hoover, 0
Carter, 0
Clinton, 0

Alec Denton
Member
Member

Best comment

reillocity
Guest
reillocity

With no signs of the dreaded Inverted W in any of the Presidential deliveries, each should be at a very low risk of requiring Tommy Jefferson surgery.

Garys of Olde
Member
Member
Garys of Olde

Maybe Kennedy had a good baseball body before the war injuries– or maybe that’s what you meant by “max effort.” Also, is that an ageless Truman-era Bobby Valentine?

cass
Guest
cass

Wonderful!

It seems like only LBJ and W know how to grip the ball properly. I do remember reading about W practicing with Schneider for awhile before the game, though I imagine this indicates that these two have more baseball experience.

LBJ also gets bonus points for his expression in the Kennedy photo. Reminds me of Joe Biden.

tz
Guest
tz

Just noticed the elder Bush is wearing a 1B mitt. Didn’t he play 1B for Yale?

Alec Denton
Member
Member
Detroit Michael
Guest
Detroit Michael

President Reagan has the good face. He looks a lot like Grover Cleveland Alexander.

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