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A batter swings at the ball Sunday, June 26, 2005, during "Tee Ball on the South Lawn. White House Tee Ball Initiative refers to efforts by President George W. Bush to promote baseball and softball by allowing youth Tee Ball events on the grounds of the White House in Washington, D.C.. The event was first held in 2001. In 2001, U.S. President Bush initiated what he described as the White House Tee Ball Initiative. The purpose was to promote interest in childhood sports, including baseball and softball. According to the White House, the Tee Ball Initiative promoted "a spirit of teamwork and service for America's youth." The plan was to invite teams from around the United States to play Tee Ball at the White House. Teams were to be selected by the Little League Baseball Association. Contents 1 About Tee Ball 2 List of White House Tee Ball Commissioners 3 History of White House involvement with baseball 4 Related articles 5 See also // About Tee Ball Tee Ball is considered the "the entry sport to baseball for young players". Tee Ball associations allow children between the ages of four and eight to play in their leagues. Generally, Tee Ball takes less skill than baseball. The difference between Tee Ball and softball or baseball is that the child hits the ball off of a tee. The ball is not pitched. Thus, Tee Ball allows a young child to learn the skills of hitting, catching, running the bases and throwing. It is estimated that 2.2 million youths play Tee Ball. List of White House Tee Ball Commissioners Cal Ripken, Junior, right, the Initiative's first commissioner, watches a game with President George W. Bush at the White House in June 2002. 2006 Commissioner Willie Mays July 30, 2006[1] 2005 Commissioner Barry Larkin June 24, 2005 [2] 2004 Commissioner Nolan Ryan April 5, 2004 2001-04 Commissioner Cal Ripken, Jr. June 20, 2003 History of White House involvement with baseball During the National Anthem, June 26, 2005, during "Tee Ball on the South Lawn. President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush cheer during a Tee Ball game July 24, 2005. George Washington and his men played a ball game called "Rounders" at Valley Forge. President John Adams played a game called "bat and ball". President Andrew Jackson played a ball game called "one old cat". President Abraham Lincoln was depicted in an 1860 political cartoon showed Lincoln and his opponents on a baseball diamond. President Andrew Johnson, gave his White House staff time off from work to go to baseball games. President Benjamin Harrison was the first President to attend a major league game on June 6, 1892 when he saw Cincinnati beat Washington 7-4. William Howard Taft was the first President to throw the ceremonial first pitch on opening day on April 14, 1910 for the Washington Senators. Since then, most Presidents have followed this tradition. Woodrow Wilson brought his fiance, Edith Galt, to the World Series. Franklin Roosevelt encouraged Major League Baseball to continue playing ball during World War II. Ronald Reagan worked as a radio announcer for the Chicago Cubs. George H. W. Bush captained the Yale baseball team. A left-handed first baseman, Bush played in the first College World Series. President George W. Bush was a former managing partner for the Texas Rangers major league baseball team. Related articles Barney (dog) Miss Beazley (dog) See also White House Baseball Web Site White House Tee Ball Web Site Little League Assn. Teams can be nominated through this site. Selection Process from Little League Assn York, Brian Bush to a Tee National Review CNN Evaluating Bush's First 100 Days Transcript Aired April 29, 2001