In 2001, President Bush launched Tee Ball on the South Lawn to encourage fitness among Americas youth and promote our national pastime to people of all ages. On July 16, we hosted our first White House Tee Ball All-Star Game, featuring one player from each of the 50 states and our Nations Capital.
Hall of Famer Frank Robinson served as the Honorary Commissioner of the game and country music star Kenny Chesney kicked things off by performing the National Anthem. Little League Challenger Division player Shelby Shayler from Norfolk, Va, presented the President with the game ball.
We had our bases covered by the pros when the Eastern Team squared off against the Central Team, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg coached first base and Eight-Time MLB All-Star John Smoltz coached third. Next, while the Southern and Western Teams go head to head, players benefited from the big league expertise of Baltimore Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar, who coached first base and two-time MLB All-Star Rick Monday, who coached third.
Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic from Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio and ESPN2 manned the announcers booth during the games. In between games, the United States Postmaster General Jack Potter was on hand to issue a new stamp commemorating the centennial of the classic baseball anthem Take Me Out to the Ball Game.