Remembering when Jimmy Carter caught a Ken Caminiti foul ball
"He showed good hands," Braves catcher Javy Lopez said of the former president.
Softball was Jimmy Carter's preferred sport. But he's had lots of baseball connections during his long and fruitful life.
The former president, 98, is turning to hospice care and will "spend his remaining time at home with his family," the Carter Center announced in a statement this weekend.
Carter has accomplished a lot after leaving the White House, from charitable work and Habitat for Humanity to writing dozens of books, establishing his presidential library, and working to bolster democracy, resolve conflicts, eradicate disease and protect human rights.
He's also watched a lot of baseball. A longtime friend of former Braves owner Ted Turner, Carter attended many of Atlanta's games during the 1990s.
In April of 1996, Carter was watching a Braves-Padres game at the invitation of San Diego owner John Moores, who was a trustee at the Carter Center.
Ken Caminiti hit a foul ball that deflected off of the screen behind home plate.
The ball headed in the direction of the Padres dugout. Carter was sitting in the first row with his wife, former First Lady Rosalynn.
The ex-president caught the foul ball bare-handed and received a standing ovation.
"He showed good hands," Braves catcher Javy Lopez said later.
My book Playing Through the Pain: Ken Caminiti and the Steroids Confession That Changed Baseball Forever is available wherever books are sold.
Carter also threw out the first pitch at the newly-opened Petco Park on April 8, 2004, when Caminiti and MLB commissioner Bud Selig were also in attendance.
Carter walked to the mound, shucked his blazer, and chucked the ball to Moores, who was standing at home plate. Carter, after delivering the pitch, gave a thumbs up.
Jimmy and Rosalynn were also featured on the "kiss-cam" at a 2015 Braves game, giving fans a chance to celebrate a marriage that's now endured for more than 76 years.
Carter also celebrated his latest birthday by watching his favorite team.
I'm excited to speak on Monday about Ken Caminiti and my book at the SABR Houston Larry Dierker Chapter’s next meeting. Meetings are held at the Spaghetti Western Restaurant, 1608 Shepherd Drive just south of I-10 in Houston at 7 p.m. CST/8 p.m. ET. I'll post video from the meeting later this week.