Friday, July 11, 2014

President Ronald Reagan Broadcasts MLB All-Star Game

On July 11, 1989, President Ronald Reagan sportscasts the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The 1989 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the sixtieth playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball.


The game was held at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California, the home of the California Angels of the American League.

The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 5-3. The game is remembered for Bo Jackson's monstrous lead-off home run to center field. Jackson was named the game's MVP.

The game also featured former U.S. President and former baseball announcer Ronald Reagan sharing the NBC broadcast booth with Vin Scully for the first inning.

The pregame ceremonies featured Disney characters joining this year's players in sprinting onto the field for the introduction of the starting lineups. Doc Severinsen later led The Tonight Show Band in the playing of the Canadian and U.S. national anthems.

Severinsen and The Tonight Show Band's performance of the U.S. National Anthem was the last non-vocal performance of the Anthem at the All-Star Game to date.

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by longtime Angels coach Jimmie Reese.

This would not be Reagan’s first time on television as Reagan moved first to Iowa after graduating college to work as a radio broadcaster and then, in 1937, to Los Angeles where he began a career as an actor, first in films and later television.

Reagan served as President of the Screen Actors Guild and later as a spokesman for General Electric (GE); his start in politics occurred during his work for GE.

Though an early critic of television, Reagan landed fewer film roles in the late 1950s and decided to join the medium. He was hired as the host of General Electric Theater, a series of weekly dramas that became very popular.

His final work as a professional actor was as host and performer from 1964 to 1965 on the television series Death Valley Days.
Check out the video below of Ronald Reagan broadcasting the 1989 MLB All-Star Game: