WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.