Could you hit a pitch thrown by President Obama?
Could you hit a pitch thrown by President Obama? President Barack Obama surprises members of the Northwest little league baseball teams at Friendship Park in Washington
Could you hit a pitch thrown by President Obama?
Lexile: 890L

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Put down the juice box and lace up your sneakers. President Barack Obama is pinch-hitting for Little League.

The president paid a surprise visit Monday to Washington's Friendship Park, where a handful of teams were warming up for the big game. Stepping onto the field in a tie but no jacket, Obama shook hands with the players and posed for photos with each team.

"What's going on people? How's it going?" the president said, before sidling up to a young girl whose arm was in a sling. "Hey, what happened? Were you sliding?"

Shocked parents reached for their smartphones to snap a quick photo, but not all of their kids were as impressed. Some held back, unsure of who Obama was, as their parents tried to lure them back onto the infield to join the president.

"Daddy, let's just play," said one young boy, pulling his father by the hand.

The "pitcher in chief" even got a chance to try out his arm, tossing the ball from near the pitcher's mound to 10-year-old Danny Ringel, who plays for the Tigers.

The White House notes the visit comes before Obama is scheduled to travel to Cooperstown, N.Y., on Thursday to speak at the Baseball Hall of Fame. That visit is focused on boosting U.S. exports, including tourism.

Critical thinking challenge: Why would the president pitch to Little Leaguers? Does this change how you feel about him?

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    5/20/2014 - 01:06 p.m.

    I think this is so sweet. For him to be such a busy man but he made time to come pitch to young girls and boys. I play softball myself, so if he was to come pitch to me, I'd be impressed!

  • odalysi-Koc
    5/20/2014 - 02:13 p.m.

    Thats cute that the president would go and play with the little league. It isn't very surprising either that the parents first reaction is to take a picture with their smartphones. I would of done the same thing.

  • AP21Softball18
    5/21/2014 - 08:40 a.m.

    He probably pitched to Little Leaguers to just have fun I guess. I mean he is the president and he was pretty layed back about the situation. But, no this little event does not change how I feel about him. My feelings are exactly the same before I read this and after.

  • cm10red
    5/21/2014 - 08:45 a.m.

    I think it's really cool that the president took his own time to go to a little league baseball game, and surprise everyone. I would of been a little nervous, but I think I still would have been able to hit the ball. I mean I play baseball, and I don't think Obama would trow the 70 mph I hit every game. So yeah, I would still hit the ball.

  • Alexbice7
    5/21/2014 - 10:04 a.m.

    I think this would be a cool opportunity to meet the president of the united states in general because I'm not really an Obama fan.

  • madelines-Ste
    5/21/2014 - 10:37 a.m.

    WOW. He can not really do anything for somebody else nor just to surprise kids he always has to do something for him and his family and/ or he has to attempt to do something for this country but know its all for tourism and for him to announce his "big" leaving to N.Y. I mean I know its his job and everything but still past Presidents would do that.

    5/21/2014 - 12:00 p.m.

    This is very cool. Its cool how the president of the united states interacts with the community and is involved in sports. Its very cool.

  • kw18green
    5/21/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    the president pitched little to show how friendly he is with the public. He might be trying to release some stress. Maybe show his pride as an American, I already think he a good person so this kind of thing doesn't faze me.

  • NicoK-5
    5/21/2014 - 11:01 p.m.

    President Obama showed up to a little league game on Monday. When parents saw him they had to do a double take. They took out their cameras and began to take pictures of him with both teams. It was a real shock to them when they looked up and saw the President. The kids and parents were both very excited.
    If I looked up and saw the president, I would be really surprised. That's not the type of thing you see everyday.

    5/22/2014 - 08:39 a.m.

    i bet none of the kids really cared. Some probably dont know who he is, or care that th president is there. The parents probably wanted to meet him, knowing who he really is.

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