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Abraham Lincoln was smart, so naturally he was a baseball fan - A Hunt and Peck

Happy Presidents Day!

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois is incredibly proud to be the Land of Lincoln which means as an Illinoisan there has never been a shortage of Abraham Lincoln trivia in my formal and informal education. This trivia did not stop at his intellectual feats. Occasionally we would hear or read stories of his great athleticism and strength. Sometimes we would hear about his love of baseball, or "townball". From the Chicago Tribune:

On Feb. 12, 1920, the Ottawa (Ill.) Herald marked the 111th anniversary of Lincoln's birth with a front-page story recalling different aspects of his life.

"Play baseball, yes Lincoln played baseball," the newspaper said. "He would leave his [Springfield law] office any time of the day and it used [to be said about] him that he left the courtroom during court to engage in a game of ball. He could play too."

His affection for what would be called "The Nation's Pastime" by Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, was even used as the theme for political cartoons about him:

Abraham Lincoln has always been referred to as one of the smartest presidents. I think his love of baseball is just further proof of that.

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