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.
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.