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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2004 > Another Tie: Tee Ball on the South Lawn Game Ends in Fun for All

Another Tie: Tee Ball on the South Lawn Game Ends in Fun for All

President George W. Bush stands at attention for the National Anthem with "Dugout" in the background.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 13, 2004) – A Bolling Air Force Base Little League Tee Ball team from Washington, D.C., squared off against a team from Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, N.C., in the first Air Force vs. Marines “Tee Ball on the South Lawn” game today as President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush looked on.

With a command of “Play ball!” from the Commander in Chief himself, the two teams played a one-inning contest that had no losers.

The Bolling Air Force Base Little League Cardinals and the Cherry Point Devil Dogs from Havelock Little League batted around in their half-inning on offense. Every player on both teams played on defense as well, and the game was followed by a picnic on the South Lawn for players and families. A baseball autographed by President George W. Bush also was presented – by President Bush – to each player, manager, and coach.

The game was the 10th on the South Lawn of the White House since May 6, 2001, when President Bush began the initiative as a way to boost interest in baseball among children and parents. President Bush, the first former Little Leaguer to be elected to the nation’s highest office, played Little League Baseball at Central Little League in Midland, Texas, in the mid-1950s.

Two members of the Cherry Point Devil Dogs from Havelock Little League share a secret before the start of the game.

One of the special guests at the game was Gen. Peter Pace, who is Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest ranking U.S. Marine in history. Gen. Pace played Little League as a boy in Teaneck, N.J., and was enshrined last year in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Hall of Excellence. President Bush was enshrined in 2001.

The public address announcer for the game was Joe Buck of FOX Sports, the son of longtime St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck.

Said President Bush during his introduction of Mr. Buck, “He followed in his dad’s footsteps – nothing wrong with that!” The President then led the teams and fans in reciting the Little League Pledge.

Also at the game was National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum pitcher Robin Roberts. The base coaches were commanding officers from the two military installations: Marine Col. John Gumbel and Air Force Col. Duane Jones. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Irish sang the National Anthem, and Girl Scout Troop 504 from Andrews Air Force Base presented the Colors.

It was the first game of 2004, and the second to feature teams composed largely of dependents of military personnel. On June 22, 2003, teams from Fort Belvoir (Va.) Little League and Naval Station Norfolk (Va.) played in the first Army-Navy Tee Ball on the South Lawn game.

At least one more game is scheduled for this summer, but the date has not been set, and the teams have not been chosen. More information on how to apply to be considered to send a team to the White House for Tee Ball on the South Lawn can be found here: http://www.littleleague.org/media/teeballselection.asp

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest youth sports organization, with more than 2.7 million children participating in every U.S. state and dozens of other countries on six continents. Little League is the only youth sports organization to be chartered by the U.S. Congress.

A member of the Bolling Air Force Base Little League Cardinals team receives an autographed baseball from President Bush.

A player from the Bolling Air Force Base Little League Cardinals pays very close attention to the game.

Taking a long stretch at first base, one of the Cherry Point Devil Dogs from Havelock Little League gets ready to run for second.

Among the dignitaries enjoying the Tee Ball game were President and Mrs. Bush, and Gen. Peter Pace, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (lower left).