MLB Presidential Medal of Freedom

Baseball Specific Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners

The Presidential Medal of Freedom, created in 1963 to replace the Medal of Freedom which was first created in 1945, is awarded by the President of the United States "for especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors"; it is awarded to individuals selected by the President or recommended to him by the Distinguished Civilian Service Awards Board.

The only exception to the rule that the sitting president chooses those to be honored was that the first recipients were selected by President John F. Kennedy before his assassination and formally awarded by his successor in office, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Some of the fields honored are arts, business, computing, education, history, humaniarian, media, medicine and sports. The Presidential Medal of Freedom has been awarded to several different athletes from several different sports including the following former major league baseball players and Negro League players.

"Known to many as ' Mr. Cub ,' Ernie Banks is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. During his 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he played in 11 All-Star Games, hit over 500 home runs, and became the first National League player to win Most Valuable Player honors in back-to-back years. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility." - The White House (Press Release, 'President Obama Names Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients', Source )
MLB Presidential Medal of Freedom

Presidential Medal of Freedom

In Chronological Order

Year

Medal of Freedom

Position

President

1945
Catcher
President Harry Truman
1977
Center Fielder
President Gerald Ford
1984
Second Baseman
President Ronald Reagan
1991
Left Fielder
President George H.W. Bush
2002
Right Fielder
President George W. Bush
2003
Right Fielder
President George W. Bush
2005
Right Fielder
President George W. Bush
2006
Buck O'Neil
Negro Leagues
President George W. Bush
2010
First Baseman
President Barack Obama
2013
First / Short
President Barack Obama
2015
Catcher
President Barack Obama
2015
Center Fielder
President Barack Obama
2016
Vin Scully
Announcer
President Barack Obama
2018
Outfielder
President Donald Trump

Year

Medal of Freedom

Position

President

MLB Presidential Medal of Freedom | Baseball Awards Menu



Moe Berg is not included on every list because at the time it was first established it was meant to honor service during World War II. President Kennedy reestablished the award in 1963 to recognize "distinguished civilian service in peace time."
What additional ballplayers do YOU believe should be given a Presidential Medal of Freedom? Share you opinion with us on Baseball Fever .
Five of the Presidential Medal of Freedom receipents were honored posthumously : Moe Berg (1945 | who was alive when his was originally announced by Truman, but he declined to accept), Jackie Robinson (1984), Roberto Clemente (2003), Yogi Berra (2015), and Babe Ruth (2018).
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