Calvin Coolidge was the only American president (so far) born on the Fourth of July. So what better time to bring some attention to Silent Cal?
Earlier this week, the Washington Nationals announced that the nation's 30th president has been added to the lineup as the sixth Racing President. His first race will be Friday night. He joins a roster that already includes George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft, who took the field for the first time in 2013.
Coolidge might not be the first president you'd think to add to the presidents race. He was Warren G. Harding's vice president, and became president after Harding died in office in 1923. He served for six years, 1923-1929, and presided over the era known as the Roaring '20s. He was succeeded by Herbert Hoover, who was in office when the stock market crashed in 1929 bringing on the Great Depression.
Cal doesn't have the name recognition that some of America's other early 20th century presidents enjoy. But the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation hopes the Nats adding him as a Racing President changes that.
“Everyone has been really happy,” Matt Denhart, the foundation’s executive director, told the Washington Post. “We really entered into something of the modern era in the ’20s, and Coolidge should be much better known. We kind of see this as a hook to get people’s interest, and to try to teach them more about Coolidge than just that he was the president.”
For the team's part, they're excited about educating fans on these figures in American history. “We love the fact that you can come to a Nationals game and walk out smarter,” the Nationals' chief revenue and marketing officer Valerie Camillo told the Post. Just don't get too attached to Cal. The team says his term as a Racing President will end with the 2015 season.
Update (July 6): Our Man Calvin made his Racing Presidents debut on Friday! Check out how he fared in the video below. (Hint: Better than the other presidents!)
For more about Calvin Coolidge's connection to baseball, check out this slideshow of first pitches tossed by America's presidents!
Photos: Washington Nationals/Twitter (Racing President), NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images (historical photo)