Remarks at a White House Ceremony Observing National Amateur Baseball Month

May 11, 1983

Well, this is more fun than being President. [Laughter] I really do love baseball, and I wish we could do this out on the lawn every day. I wouldn't even complain if a stray ball came through the Oval Office window now and then.

But it's great to see all these youngsters out here and the bats and the balls and everything that's going on. Baseball of course is our national pastime, that is if you discount political campaigning. [Laughter] And the ball and bat are common to city streets, rural sandlots throughout all of the country. Whether it's a group of 8-year-olds on a vacant lot, or a finely coached team of college all-stars, or the bottling plant's local team, baseball is fun for players and spectators alike.

So, I'm delighted that Congress has set aside this month to honor amateur baseball -- that's why I left you fellows out in those remarks there. [Laughter] Now, if they would just set aside a month for my defense budget. [Laughter]

For this signing today we have Hall-of-Famers here, we have Little Leaguers, and that's the way it should be, because baseball appeals to young and old alike. It's increasingly appealing to people around the entire world, and I'm very glad that baseball will be played as a demonstration sport at next summer's Los Angeles Olympic Games. And then, if we're very successful, very possibly it could become a full-fledged medal sport in time for the 1988 games in Seoul, South Korea.

Now, I know you'd rather watch a Little League game than hear me talk, so I shall now go sign this proclamation about baseball month.

[The President signed the proclamation.]

All right. Play ball!

Note: The President spoke at 2:06 p.m. on the South Lawn.

Following the President's remarks, the Athletes and the Dodgers, two Pony League teams from Glen Burnie, Md., played one inning of a baseball game on the South Lawn.