2001, Game 3
Just a few miles away from a still-smoldering site of the World Trade Center, less than two months removed from a terrorist attack that had the country still shaken, President George W. Bush walked confidently to the mound at Yankee Stadium before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series and toed the rubber. Most ceremonial first pitches are tossed from much closer than the regulation 60 feet 6 inches. This one was for real. Covered neck to toe in bullet-proof body armor and without a Secret Service detail in view, Bush threw a perfect strike to Yankees catcher Todd Greene. If ever there was a doubt about baseball’s importance as an American institution, Bush erased it that night.