Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter on Baseball, Sports, and Sportsmanship.

January 23, 1937

My dear Mr. Dawson:

I regret very much that I shall not be able to be with you at the Fourteenth Annual Dinner of the New York Chapter, Baseball Writers Association of America. But while not there in person I shall be with you in spirit, as will millions of other Americans who follow through the sports writers of the Nation not only baseball, but football, boxing, track and field sports, golf, tennis, winter sports—when there is winter—and many other games through which, as participants or spectators, we as a people benefit physically, mentally and morally.

Writers with your highly developed sense of fair play and your ability to inform and interest and entertain us with your accounts of the different sports contribute greatly to the spirit of good sportsmanship which we all like to think is an American characteristic.

When it comes to baseball I am the kind of fan who wants to get plenty of action for his money. I have some appreciation of a game which is featured by a pitcher's duel and results in a score of one to nothing. But I must confess that I get the biggest kick out of the biggest score- a game in which the batters pole the ball into the far corners of the field, the outfielders scramble, and men run the bases. In short, my idea of the best game is one that guarantees the fans a combined score of not less than fifteen runs, divided about eight to seven.

I do hope the dinner will be the rousing success that good sportsmanship deserves.

Very sincerely yours,

Mr. James P. Dawson,

The New York Times,

New York, N.Y.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter on Baseball, Sports, and Sportsmanship. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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