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Ranking The 5 Greatest US Presidents Based On Their Sporting Prowess

Ranking The 5 Greatest US Presidents Based On Their Sporting Prowess
By Conor Neville Updated

"We must stop the terror! I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers, Thank you... Now watch this drive."

We give you the five finest sporting Presidents ranked in order of sporting prowess.

5. George W Bush

The owner of the Texas Rangers between 1989 and 1994, he used to sit in the stands chewing gum and watching his beloved team fail and fumble consistently through those years.

While they won little in his spell there, he did build a brand new stadium during his tenure. He was granted the privilege of naming the ground. After much thought, he eventually came up with 'The Ballpark at Arlington', a name which attracted scorn from fans who called into Texas phone-in shows.

"If his wife has a baby girl, does he call her 'the daughter'?" was one common refrain.

This is obviously no tribute to Bush's qualities as an athlete. But the clean living former alcoholic is a decent amateur runner, running marathons in his 40s and sub-seven minute miles into his 50s.

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Wearing a bullet proof vest, he tossed out the first ball of Game 3 of the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium. USA Today dubbed it the greatest sporting moment of any President. It even has its own 30 for 30 documentary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCm9788Tb5g

4. Dwight Eisenhower

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Most non-American sports fans remember Dwight Eisenhower because there's a tree named after him at Augusta. This honour was bestowed on the deceased ex-President on the grounds that he kept hitting it.

He played as a linebacker (seems to be a popular position for future Presidents - what a great commander in chief old LT could have been) for the West Point military academy. He played against the famous Jim Thorpe - Olympic gold medalist in the pentathlon, future professional American footballer, and one of the greatest US athletes of the 20th century - back in 1912.

3. George Bush Snr.

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First we have to take the time to wonder whatever the hell happened to Republicans in the mould of George Bush Snr? The oldest living President - a RINO (Republican in name only) by today's hardcore standards - plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in this election. This is fantastically unsurprising as Trump isn't his kind of fellow at all. Unlike his son, who was a genuine conservative, George Bush the elder was only a Republican because he came from that wasp-y social class.

In 1948, a cancer stricken Babe Ruth presented the original manuscript of his autobiography to the captain of the Yale baseball team, one George H. W. Bush.

Bush played at first baseman and featured in two College World Series in 1947 and 1948. The Yale Bulldogs entry on Bush writes.

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Affectionately known by his teammates as "Poppy" back in his playing days, the lanky Bulldogs' first baseman played in arguably the most memorable period of Yale baseball's 150-year existence...

Bush was as good a fielder as any on the team, fashioning .976 and .992 fielding percentages in 1947 and 1948. His nifty work at first base helped the Bulldogs to lead the nation with a .971 fielding percentage in 1947.

Though better known for his fielding as a left-handed thrower, the future President actually hit from the right side of the plate. His career batting average was .215 with a season-high .245 in 1948 (statistics may be incomplete). In 1948, Bush also hit one home run, one triple, seven doubles, knocked in 16 runs, and scored 17 himself.

2. JFK

John F Kennedy never once whipped around to an assembled media pack and demanded that they "watch this drive!" He didn't want to be photographed with a golf club in his hand, fearing he'd be tarnished with his predecessor Dwight D Eisenhower's country club image.

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Nonetheless, the various golf sites are unanimous in their view that JFK was the greatest golfer ever to reside in the White House. And considering that they all played the game, that is saying something.

He had a lonely rhythmic swing and his handicap dipped into the single digits. In addition, he was a star sailor and swimmer while in college at Harvard. He also played American football.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTdMdAQ6JwI

1. Gerald Ford

Unquestionably the greatest athlete to ever live in the White House, it is Gerald Ford's sorry lot to be best known to the younger generations for being the slow-witted and physically clumsy soul brother of Homer Simpson from that George Bush episode.

Tripping up while stepping out of the Presidential jet in Austria in 1975 seems to have sealed his fate as a klutz. Lyndon Johnson suggested that he spent too much time playing football without a helmet.

Ford was a centre and a linebacker for the University of Michigan in the 1930s, winning two national titles in a row in 1932 and 1933. In his final year, the team's form nosedived but Ford's performances remained heroic. He was voted the team's Most Valuable Player in 1934.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay1UwhqwQ4g

A career in the NFL awaited.

The Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers both offered him contracts. However, he declined both as he was intent on pursuing a career in law. He was admitted to Yale Law School in 1938.

His no. 48 jersey was retired by the team in 1994.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olnyi_jiwhA

Read more: Michael Collins' Hatred Of Soccer And 5 Other Times Sport And Irish Politics Mixed

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