For all the district, regional and state championships won over the years, the most unique piece of memorabilia in the trophy cabinet at Newton North High School in suburban Boston is a well-worn baseball glove worn exactly once by a former commander in chief.
As reported by the Boston Globe, a unique turn of events has led the glove which then-President Barack Obama used to throw out the first pitch at Washington Nationals Opening Day in 2010. According to the Globe, Herbie Ziskend, a former Newton North player, was working as a White House aide in 2010 when word came out that President Obama needed a left-handed glove (Obama is left-handed). Ziskend was a lefthanded former high school player, and Obama’s special assistant Reggie Love reached out to see if he had a glove available.
He did, Obama borrowed the glove for a couple days, threw out the first pitch on April 5 (wearing a Chicago White Sox hat for the occasion), then returned the glove to Ziskend.
The fielder’s mitt wasn’t retired immediately — it was given one more run out in a local softball league by Ziskend himself — but was sent off into the sunset soon thereafter. And when considering where to donate the glove, Ziskend initially leaned toward sending it to the organizers of the Obama library, but was eventually swayed to send it back to his hometown in Massachusetts.
Once it arrived there, it was immediately put up alongside the athletic department’s earned trophies, where it sits today.