Democrats are making a last-ditch effort to retain control of the House and Senate and hope to see First Lady Jill Biden join them in the campaign. But on Friday night, the only pitching she’s likely to watch will be in Houston, where her beloved Phillies will take on the Astros in Game 1 of the World Series.

“The First Lady will be watching the World Series closely and rooting for her home team, Phyllis,” her office told CBS News.

There is also a time-honored tradition among first ladies of throwing ceremonial first pitches. According to Colin Shawgan, senior vice president and director of the David M. Rubenstein Center in 1971, Pat Nixon was the first to throw out the first pitch at the White House Historical Association. Nancy Reagan also threw out the first pitch in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, and six and a half months later Barbara Bush threw out the first pitch for the Texas Rangers.

Jill Biden is not the first lady’s first baseball fan either. Shogun shared a few more examples from White House history:

Grace Coolidge

President William Taft and his wife Helen may have been the first couple to attend a baseball game, but President Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace were certainly the first couple’s first devoted fans. And it was Grace Coolidge who was a more ardent fan.

“The first lady who was historically the biggest baseball fan was Grace Coolidge,” Shogan said. “She came to the White House as a baseball fan, but she was actually an even bigger baseball fan because the Washington Senators were in the World Series at the time in 1924, and she went to a lot of Senators games with the president, Calvin Coolidge. But she was admittedly a bigger baseball fan, bigger than the president. She kept score during the game.”

Former President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady Grace Coolidge at a baseball game in 1924.

Library of Congress

There was one famous instance, Shogan said, when President Calvin Coolidge wanted to leave one of the World Series games to go back to the White House, and Grace Coolidge “pulled him by the tail and told him to sit back and wait for the game to be over,” – said the Shogun.

When the Senators won the World Series in 1924, Coolidge was “jumping up and down and celebrating,” Shogan said.

After Coolidge left his office in 1929, they moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, where Grace Coolidge adopted the Boston Red Sox as her home team and traveled often to watch them play.

“She was just known around the stadium — Fenway Park — as one of the most dedicated fans,” Shogan said.

Bess Truman

President Harry Truman’s wife, Bess Truman, was also a big baseball fan. She had a reputation for being tough, but was an athlete in her youth. She even played baseball with her brothers growing up, which was “unusual in that era,” Shogan said.

Harry and Bess Truman attended Washington Senators games together, but he was often busy and unable to go, so Bess Truman sometimes took their daughter Margaret along.

“Even President Truman admitted that Bess Truman was a bigger baseball fan, was a bigger baseball fan than he was,” Shawgan said.

After Truman left office and the couple returned to Missouri, she adopted the Kansas City Royals. Even in her later years, after Truman’s death, Bess Truman still listened to Kansas City Royals games on the radio and watched them on television.

Barbara Bush

George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush moved to West Texas in 1948 and later to the Houston area, and she took over the Texas baseball teams.

Although she was an avid Houston Astros fan, she also cheered for the Texas Rangers when her son, future President George W. Bush, was the team’s president. In 1989, shortly after her husband took over, she pitched her first inning for the Rangers.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush throws the first pitch before Game 4 of the National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Astros during the 2004 Major League Baseball playoffs at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2004 in X Houston, Texas.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Barbara Bush loved to keep score – the mark of a true fan. George W. Bush wrote in his book Barbara Bush: Matriarch of a Dynasty that “not many people know how to score in a baseball game.” Houston Chronicle. Bush said he has “vivid memories of her sitting at our games and keeping score.”

“She kept a detailed score sheet for every game they attended,” former Astros owner Drayton McLain told the Houston Chronicle after her death in 2018. — Every now and then there would be a difficult game and she would ask me, “How do you score” what?’ and I had to say, “Barbara, I don’t know,” and ask one of our baseball people to help her. She must have had hundreds of scorecards, all carefully filled out. She said that if you have to do something, you have to do it well.

Baseball scoring involves tracking each play, including each pitch, at-bat, hit, run, and out, and evaluating whether runs are the result of hits or errors, e.g..

The Bushes remained avid baseball fans long after he left the White House in 1993, and in 2017, George W. Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 5 of the World Series.

After she and her husband passed away in 2018, the Astros honored them both on Opening Day 2019 when the Texas Air National Guard’s 149th Fighter Squadron conducted a flyover, according to Houston Chronicle. Their grandson, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, threw the ceremonial first pitch.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama grew up on the South Side of Chicago, and before living in the White House, the Obama family lived in the South Kenwood neighborhood. Former President Barack Obama made no secret of his allegiance to the South Side Chicago White Sox, but Michelle Obama never spoke about her allegiance until 2012.

In 2012, at a Get Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day event, Michelle Obama was asked how much of a White Sox fan she was, and she had an unexpected answer. CBS Chicago.

“I grew up a Cubs fan,” she said. – We are in a mixed marriage.

She said she supported all of Chicago’s teams, though she had a special place in her heart for the Cubs.

“People always ask, ‘Why are you a Cubs fan?’ because we live on the south side,” she said, according to CBS Chicago. “But I tell them my father has been a Cubs fan since I was little.”

When the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, President Obama honored the Cubs at the White House. Michelle Obama was a “lifelong Cubs fan,” he said. NBC.

“I’ll tell you…in the eight years I’ve been here, we’ve hosted at least 50 teams. Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, whatever,” Obama said. “Until today, Michelle has never attended any event where the champion was honored. She came, shook hands, met each of these members of the Cubs organization and told a story about what it meant to her to see them win. She remembers coming home from school and her dad was watching a Cubs game and the connection and the family and what the Cubs meant to her in terms of her connection with her father and why it meant so much to her.”

Michelle Obama also partnered with Major League Baseball as part of the Let’s Move initiative, throwing out first pitch to the Baltimore Orioles game in 2010 as part of this program to encourage children to exercise. She has also recorded public messages with several MLB players.

Michelle Obama shakes hands with Tampa Bay Rays baseball players
First Lady Michelle Obama shakes hands with members of the Tampa Bay Rays before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on July 20, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Greg Fium/Getty Images

Jill Biden

The Phillies are known for having a devoted fan base, but President Joe Biden called his wife the Phillies’ “craziest” fan.

“This team plays with such heart – so proud of what it is @Phillies fan today and every day,” she said tweeted when they clinched a spot in the 2022 World Series

Jill Biden, a native of suburban Philadelphia, said watching the games with her father was one of her favorite childhood memories.

“I was a little girl,” she said ABC News in 2009, recalling watching the games on the family’s black-and-white Philco TV. “It was a great father-daughter memory for me.”

In the final days of the 2008 campaign, when Mr. Biden was a candidate for vice president, Jill Biden and her granddaughter Maisie were at a World Series game when the Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays.

Jill and Joe Biden in a playoff game
Then-Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill watch as the Philadelphia Phillies host the St. Louis Cardinals during Game 5 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

“I’ve got to tell you, my wife, I’m going on the campaign trail, she’s like, ‘Joe, I’m going to the streak,'” then-Senator Joe Biden said of his wife’s decision to go home and watch her team. .

Jill Biden called it “exciting” to be there when the Phillies won, and she later said it was “one of the ‘best nights’ of the campaign.”

She continued to attend Phillies games throughout Mr. Biden’s tenure as vice president and in the years that followed. She was even photographed cuddling Philly Fanatic, the team’s furry green mascot.

Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Phillie Phanatic hugs First Lady Jill Biden before the game between the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 9, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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At a campaign event last week, Mr. Biden said that “even if I didn’t like Philadelphia, I would be sleeping alone if I didn’t root for Philadelphia teams.”