We're honoring our country's leaders by marrying history and baseball because, why not?
Here's a list of MLB players, past and present, who share names with U.S. Presidents.
A former major-league shortstop from 1977-1989, Ron Washington is best known for his tenure as Texas Rangers manager from 2007-14. Washington led the franchise to its first World Series berth in 2010 and followed it up with a second appearance in 2011. He holds the Rangers’ franchise record for most managerial wins, at 664. Washington resigned as Rangers manager for personal reasons in 2014 and is now the third base coach for the Atlanta Braves.
George Washington served as the first U.S. President from 1789-1797, after serving as a general and commander-in-chief during the American Revolution. Now the face of the dollar bill, Washington was known as the “Father of our Country” who helped frame America’s Constitution.
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Ian Kennedy / John F. Kennedy
A 2006 Yankees first-round draft pick (21st overall), Ian Kennedy made his major-league debut in September 2007. The right-handed starter, who led the National League in wins in 2011 as a member of the Diamondbacks, went 11-11 while posting a 3.68 ERA with the Royals last season.
John F. Kennedy became the youngest elected U.S. President, at age 43, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. A member of the Democratic party, Kennedy was the nation’s 35th president and the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize.
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Reggie Jefferson / Thomas Jefferson
Reggie Jefferson is a former first baseman and designated hitter who played in the majors from 1991-1999. Jefferson’s best years were with Boston, where he played from 1995-99. In 1996, he batted .347 and was Nicknamed ‘The Miracle’ by Red Sox fans. Prior to the 1999 ALDS against his former team, the Indians, Jackson was so upset about being left off the postseason roster, that he packed his bags and left the team — and never played in the majors again.
Thomas Jefferson served as the third U.S. President from 1801-1809, but is best known for being the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. During his term as president, Jefferson eliminated the tax on whiskey and helped greatly lower America’s debt.
Matt Bush / George H. W. Bush
Matt Bush was the No. 1 overall pick by the Padres in the 2004 MLB Draft. His baseball career was derailed by his struggles with alcoholism, which eventually landed him in prison after multiple DUIs and nearly killing a motorcyclist in a hit-and-run incident. After serving over three years in prison, Bush rehabilitated his life and worked his way back to Major League Baseball as a relief pitcher with the Rangers in 2016. He went 7-2 with one save and a 2.48 ERA in 58 appearances last season.
George H.W. Bush served as the 41st U.S. President from 1989-1993. Bush launched successful military operations against Panama and Iraq during his term as president, but lost his re-election bid to Democratic candidate Bill Clinton.
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Brad Lincoln / Abraham Lincoln
A highly-coveted draft prospect, Brad Lincoln was selected by the Pirates with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2006 MLB Draft. Due to various injuries, including Tommy John surgery in 2007, Lincoln struggled to make it in the big leagues and hasn’t played in the majors since a 2014 appearance with the Phillies.
Abraham Lincoln began serving as the 16th U.S. President in 1861 and is one of the most impactful presidents in our nation’s history. Honest Abe led the country through the Civil War and abolished slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, a well-known actor who supported slavery and the Southern Confederacy.
Matt Adams / John Adams
After a promising minor-league career, Matt Adams made his major-league debut for the Cardinals in May 2012. Known to Cardinals fans as “Big City,” the first baseman hit 16 homers, 18 doubles and 54 RBI while batting .249 with a .471 slugging percentage in an injury-shorted 2016 campaign.
John Adams served as the second U.S. President from 1797-1801. One of America’s founding fathers, Adams helped draft the Declaration of Independence and served as the first-ever Vice President to George Washington.
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Reggie Jackson / Andrew Jackson
A five-time World Series champ and two-time World Series MVP, Reggie Jackson was nicknamed “Mr. October,” as he was arguably the most clutch postseason hitter of all-time. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993, Jackson reached the postseason in 11 of his 21 major-league seasons.
Andrew Jackson served as the seventh U.S. President from 1829-1837. Known as the "people's president," Jackson founded the Democratic party and guided his troops to several key victories in the War of 1812.
Whitey Ford / Gerald Ford
A Cy Young winner and 10-time All-Star, Whitey Ford won six World Series championships with the Yankees, the only team he ever played for in his 16-year major-league career. The lefty finished his career 236–106 with an ERA of 2.75 and was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.
Gerald Ford assumed the Presidency after Richard Nixon’s departure in August 1974, becoming the only person to have served as both Vice President and President without being elected to either office. After leading the country out of the Watergate era, Ford lost the 1978 presidential election to Democrat Jimmy Carter.
Otis Nixon / Richard Nixon
Otis Nixon played for nine different teams during his major-league career, which spanned from 1983-1999. The speedy center-fielder shares the MLB record for stolen bases in a single game, with six, and his 620 career steals are the most for a player who never made an All-Star Game.
Beginning his term as the 37th U.S. President in 1969, Richard Nixon successfully withdrew troops from Vietnam and helped repair America’s relations with China and the Soviet Union. Nixon became the only U.S. President to resign from office in August 1974, as a result of the Watergate scandal.