What Barack Obama Throwing out the First Pitch Does for Baseball

Sam FogelgarenCorrespondent IJuly 14, 2009

ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 14:  U.S. President Barack Obama throws out the first pitch at the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, July 14, Major League Baseball hosted its 80th All-Star Game in St. Louis, Missouri. On hand were some of the St. Louis Cardinals legends such as Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Bruce Sutter, Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, and Stan Musial.

But, undoubtedly, the biggest name at the All-Star Game was the 44th  president of the United States, Barack Obama. Obama, who threw out the first pitch of the game, also went up to the broadcast booth to talk on-air with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

In addition to Obama's attendance, Major League Baseball created a video that included speaking roles for all five living American presidents: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter. 

By including the five most important men from this country's last 30 years, MLB was trying to send a message. It was trying to convey the message that MLB is still a great organization, and that no matter what happens, baseball is a positive American institution.

That ideal has obviously been questioned as of late due to the rampant use of steroids among MLB players.

Stars such as Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, and Manny Ramirez have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs within the last six months.

The overwhelming amount of steroid users has been giving baseball a terrible name and has obviously been the source for much criticism.

In this case, it makes plenty of sense for MLB to ask the most powerful men of this country's history to give a reassuring vote to Major League Baseball.