College Hall to be named for Bush
Long before he was president of the United States (or a congressman, UN ambassador, head of the CIA, vice president or patriarch of the most powerful modern-day political family in the US), George Herbert Walker Bush was a first baseman and two-time College World Series participant at Yale.
On Thursday, that earlier, but less-publicized time of Bush's life made news as the National College Baseball Hall of Fame announced its new building will be named after the 41st president.
With groundbreaking scheduled for June 2014 in Lubbock, Texas, the George H.W. Bush National College Baseball Hall of Fame will honor "several generations" of college baseball stars. The Hall of Fame was created in 2004 by the College Baseball Foundation, but has yet to find a permanent building to honor its inductees.
George H.W. Bush, Yale baseball player, circa 1946.
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Bush was the captain of the Yale teams that played in the first two College World Series in 1947 and '48. Both years the Bulldogs finished second to schools from California (Cal in 1947, USC in 1948). The games were played in Kalamazoo, Mich., and to this date those are the only teams to make the CWS in Yale history.
"To say I am pleased is an understatement," President Bush said in a story on CollegeBaseballHall.org. "While my baseball days at Yale hardly measure up to the likes of my boyhood idol Lou Gehrig, or Hall of Famers like Jackie Robinson or Dave Winfield, I genuinely love the game and am so very grateful for this honor -- undeserved though it may be."
The Hall of Fame was founded in 2004 and inducted its first class in 2006. However, the Hall's website also says that a campaign is underway to raise $13 million to construct the building and create an endowment. Thus far, roughly $7 million has reportedly been raised.
Among 2013's inductees were Arizona State third baseman Sal Bando; University of Tampa first baseman Tino Martinez and USC shortstop Roy Smalley.