There is something about baseball, war and commanders-in-chief that eternally binds us to our national pastime. Presidents want the baseball teams to play, and the fans want to take their minds off of wars, economic problems and domestic troubles. So it's a win-win situation.
Such is baseball, where hope springs eternal. It is FDR throwing out one of his 11 first pitches on opening day during the Great Depression and later during World War II. A confident JFK in 1963 -- just six months after the Cuban Missile Crisis and seven months before his assassination -- is seen smiling in a famous photo tossing out the first pitch in Washington.
No matter how intense world affairs are, there is something comforting and consistent about baseball, and it even gives the president a moment of relief from pressing issues.