WASHINGTON - Cheering on Little League players from Camden, N.J and Manati, Puerto Rico, during the eighth annual Tee Ball on the South Lawn season opener, Kyle Naegele was among invited guests who gathered June 30 on the South Lawn of the White House to honor the Latino community's many contributions to the game of baseball.
Naegele resides in Pasadena, Md, and is the great-grandson of Teresa S. Martinez and the late Gil Martinez Jr., and Marciano and Trinidad Ruiz, all of Robstown.
Just before the game began, President Bush asked the players to join him in reciting the Little League Pledge: "I trust in God. I love my country, and will respect its laws. I will play fair and strive to win. But win or lose, I will always do my best."
Also in attendance at the game were baseball broadcaster and former professional baseball player for the Pittsburgh, Pirates Roberto Clemente Jr., who served as commissioner for the day; First Base coach Jose Rijo of the Washington Nationals; Third Base coach Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce; and U.S. Congressman Rob Andrews.
Natalie Morales of NBC's Today Show provided play-by-play commentary.
There were no outs and no strikes during the two-inning game in keeping with South Lawn tradition.
After the game and photos with the president, players and guests were treated to a picnic and music provided by Menudo for a concert on the South Lawn, which included a performance of their newest single, "Lost."
In 2001, President Bush launched Tee Ball on the South Lawn to encourage fitness among America 's youth and promote America 's national pastime to people of all ages.