Taft became the first U.S. president to throw a ceremonial “first pitch” when he opened the 1910 season at Washington’s League Park on April 14. An overflow crowd estimated at 15,000 attended the spectacle, and the Senators’ Walter Johnson responded by pitching a one-hitter, beating the Athletics and Eddie Plank 3-0. Johnson might have recorded the first Opening Day no-hitter if not for the excess fans who spilled out of the grandstand and surrounded the outfield. In the seventh inning, Frank Baker lofted a fly ball to right field, but Washington’s Doc Gessler collided with a youngster while giving chase and the ball fell for a double. Taft stayed for the entire game and enjoyed himself so much that the presidential “first pitch” became an annual event in Washington.
Taft was President from 1909 to 1913 and later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.