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George W. Bush Throws Out Ceremonial First Pitch for World Series Game 1

Former President George W. Bush throws out first pitch before World Series Game 1 at Globe Life Field.

Former President George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, had the honor of throwing the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series on Friday night. The game took place at Globe Life Field, the home of the Texas Rangers, a team that Bush used to own. This marked the 12th time that Bush has thrown out a ceremonial first pitch at an MLB game, and the fifth time he has done so as a former president. It was his first ceremonial first pitch since the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. In fact, Bush's pitch was the first by a president, current or former, since that time.

While Bush has taken the mound 11 times before this one, his most memorable and perhaps the best ceremonial first pitch ever was at Game 3 of the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium. This game took place just seven weeks after the tragic events of 9/11, and Bush wore a bulletproof vest underneath an FDNY sweater. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter famously advised him not to bounce the ball, as the crowd would boo him. However, Bush exuded confidence as he walked to the mound, ignoring Jeter's warning. The crowd gave him a standing ovation, and he responded with a thumbs up before delivering a perfect strike. The chants of "USA" filled the ballpark. Interestingly, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are the Rangers' opponent in this year's Fall Classic, won that series in seven games, preventing the Yankees from winning their fourth consecutive championship.

This is the fifth time that Bush has thrown a first pitch at a Rangers game. The first time was in 2000 on Opening Day, the same year he won the election while serving as the state's governor. It is also his fifth ceremonial first pitch at the World Series, with three of them featuring the Rangers as participants (2010, 2011, and now). In addition to MLB games, Bush has also thrown out the first pitch at the College World Series, Little League World Series, and Japan Series.

The tradition of presidents throwing out a ceremonial first pitch dates back to April 14, 1910, when President William Howard Taft did so before a game between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics. He threw the pitch to Hall of Famer Walter Johnson. With the exception of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, every president has participated in this tradition either during or after their time in office. It is worth noting that Trump did throw out a first pitch at Fenway Park in 2006.

In conclusion, George W. Bush's ceremonial first pitch at the World Series was a momentous occasion. His previous experiences and his iconic pitch after 9/11 have solidified his place in the history of presidential first pitches. As the tradition continues, it will be interesting to see which future presidents will take the mound and create their own memorable moments in baseball history.

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