The stage is set for the Texas Rangers to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2023 World Series, which isn’t exactly the “big market matchup” the MLB was looking for.
In fact, it might be safe to assume that this will be one of the lower rated “Fall Classics” in recent memory, just considering that the two teams don’t exactly draw audiences and casual baseball fans to their TV screens.
But the Rangers are pulling out all of the stops to make the game as exciting as they can, and that means even picking out a noteworthy individual to throw out the first pitch ahead of the start of the World Series tonight. I might tune in now just to watch because of it…
Texas resident and former President of the United States George W. Bush is set to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on behalf of the Rangers, and I’ve got to say, that’s a great pick:
President George W. Bush will throw the first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series with Pudge Rodriguez catching.
For Game 2, Adrian Beltre will throw the first pitch to Fergie Jenkins.
Bush, who was the 43rd President of the United States, and served two terms from 2001 to 2009, is now 77 years old. Though he’s getting up there in age, and hasn’t been President for almost 15 years, he’s still 3 years younger than Joe Biden. Just a fun fact there…
And politics aside, George W. Bush was arguably part of one of the most powerful and moving moments in the history of sports, and America for that matter. Following the national tragedy that took place on September 11th, 2001, the nation was torn, battered, and scared, and citizens were yearning for a sense of normalcy.
A little over a month after the 9/11 attacks, the New York Yankees were hosting a World Series game – ironically, also against Arizona, and President Bush was called upon to throw out the first pitch ahead of the matchup in the same city that had been rocked to its core some 50 days before.
There was an increased security presence at Yankee Stadium, both because of the recent events and the fact that George W. Bush was in attendance. In fact, there was so much concern that Bush ended up wearing a bullet-proof vest underneath his FDNY jacket for when he went out onto the field.
With the weight of both the vest on his chest and the world on his shoulders, George W. Bush walked out onto the mound, gave a thumbs up to the raucous New York crowd, and threw an absolutely perfect and patriotic pitch right in the middle of the strike zone. The “USA” chants that broke out afterwards still give me chills.
Take a look:
So the moment that will meet the former President at the 2023 World Series definitely won’t be as emotional as his first, first pitch, but it will still be great to see Bush painting the strike zone once again to kick off the Fall Classic.
If you need me, I’ll just be watching that first pitch video that’s linked above for the next three hours…