As the Los Angeles Dodgers look to close out the 2013 National League Division Series over the Atlanta Braves, we look back to the 37th President’s lifelong love of baseball and admiration for the “Boys in Blue.”
“I never leave a game before the last pitch,” President Nixon said. “Because in baseball, as in life and especially in politics, you never know what will happen.”
In June 1972, President Nixon joined son-in-law and baseball super-fan David Eisenhower to collaborate in picking a baseball all-star team. They named those they considered the best players in what they designated as the Early Era (1925-1945) and the Modern Era (1945-1970).
Twenty years later, on July 15, 1992, Nixon and Eisenhower collaborated once again to update their selections at a special luncheon at the Nixon Library. This time they named those considered to be the best who played between 1925-1959, which they called the Yankee Era and those who played between 1960-1991, which they called the Expansion Era.
In addition, they named an all-star team of active players from the 1992 season. In that selection was current LA Dodgers skipper and then NY Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly. “Ole man who keeps the Yankees alive,” Nixon and Eisenhower wrote of Mattingly.
Hall of fame Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda was named as their selection for manager of the active team. “A winner year in and year out,” wrote Nixon and Eisenhower. “A great goodwill ambassador for baseball and the Dodgers.”
Photo: RN holds up Tommy Lasorda’s #2 Dodgers jersey at the Nixon Library on July 15, 1992.