Cal Ripken, Jr., Commissioner (of South Lawn Tee Ball)


President George W. Bush and Commissioner of White House South Lawn Tee Ball Cal Ripken, Jr., stand for the National Anthem, May 5, 2002

Speaking of Cal Ripken, Jr. (who I wrote about in yesterday’s post), do you remember when he was the Commissioner of White House South Lawn Tee Ball? President George W. Bush appointed Ripken to serve as the first honorary commissioner in 2001, a position he held through 2004.

The President introduced Cal as the commissioner at the opening game in 2002. For that game, the first-base coach was Mel R. Martinez, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Hall of Famer Tony Perez was the third base coach.  Also present were Orlando Cepeda, Erubiel Durazo, and Bill Ripken.

Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda urges on a player from the Wrigley Little League Dodgers of Los Angeles, as he runs for home against the Inner City Little League of Brooklyn, N.Y., Sunday, July 15, 2007, during the White House Tee Ball Game celebrating the legacy of Jackie Robinson on the South Lawn of the White House. Brooklyn and Los Angeles represent the two home cities of Robinson’s team.

Third Base Coach, Tommy Lasorda, July 15, 2007

The league hosted games sporadically from 2001 to 2008. Participating teams were selected by Little League Baseball. Cal was succeeded as commissioner by Nolan Ryan in 2004, Barry Larkin in 2005, and Willie Mays in 2006. Later, honorary commissioners would be appointed for specific games, including Frank Robinson who served as Honorary Commissioner for the South Lawn Tee Ball All-Star Game in 2008.

The final South Lawn Tee Ball game was held on September 7, 2008, with Bernie Williams serving as first base coach and General Pete Pace, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as third base coach.

~ baseballrebecca


President Bush attends a Tee Ball on the South Lawn game between the Cardinals and the South Berkeley Little League Braves from Inwood, West Virginia, June 23, 2002.

President Bush and Cal Ripken, Jr., attend Tee Ball on the South Lawn on June 23, 2002