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L E Story – Playing Little League Baseball With US Presidents And Corporate Power Brokers


Bone Daddy and I were watching the World Series Game 4 the evening of Halloween night, October 31, 2010….when during the opening ceremonies the network cameramen were focusing their lenses while panning the crowd of those fans who had come to the game in their Halloween costumes.  Bone Daddy commented that for Halloween…all kids should have to dress up and wear a mask of how they will look when they are 70 years or older…..as he said that would be a really scary sight.

He made that comment after the TV camera panned to former President George H. Bush (41st US President) and his 1st Lady Barbara….who were sitting next their son, George W. Bush (43rd US President) and his 1st Lady Laura Bush….as the foursome were sitting right behind home plate.  Bone Daddy had known the Bush family since he was a young boy growing up and playing Little League Baseball in Midland, TX….as Daddy Bush and Barbara were the parents of his schoolmate and baseball brother of another mother, George W. Bush.  When George W and Bone Daddy were young boys out in West Texas….they played baseball against each other in the Midland Central Little League….where Daddy Bush coached the Central League Cubs….as son, GW was their starting catcher…..and Bone Daddy played outfield for the Central League Braves….and seeing these old friends from Midland in the stands on this Halloween night was startling and a bit scary….cuz they had gotten so much older and looked so different than they did back in their Little League days. 

On this particular night, the Bush’s were sitting in the Texas Rangers owner’s box with the then President of Rangers Baseball Operations, Nolan Ryan….who was known to Bone Daddy as ”Big Tex” or “The Ryan Express” in his playing days. So here were the Bush’s that he knew playing baseball as a kid in Midland sitting with one of this original Sportsphile’s all-time sports heroes….as evidenced by our Nolan Ryan collection collection in our memorabilia section herewith.


That is when Bone Daddy comments about how all kids should have to wear Halloween costumes of how they would actually look when they had become elderly…which came as a result of seeing the former Presidents and their 1st Ladies…all of whom he knew personally while growing up….and remembering how they each looked 50+ years ago in Midland….bringing about the comment….“my how time flies when you’re having fun”. Then BD began to tell the story of when he was playing pitcher for the Braves against the Cubs in the 1957 Central Little League Championship Game….as he related that when one considers that playing for the two teams (Cubs & Braves) that day were two future USA Presidents….two future CEO’s of Fortune 500 Corporations in Kenny Jastrow (past CEO of Temple-Inland Company) and Jack Hightower (past CEO of UNOCAL)…..one future 4 Star US Army General (retired 4 Star General Tommy Franks)….and one future General Counsel of Pensoil Corporation James Shaddix)….then you get a fairly good picture of the by-product which came out of this town and the place….and that was just considering the boys playing on two Central Little League teams in 1957….for the history of the talent pool to come out of a small West Texas town of 70,000 people is simply off the charts.

The picture below of the 1957 Midland Central Little League Braves includes a future CEO of Temple Inland Industries…a future self-made billionaire…a future Producer of Golf for ABC Sports…and a future Sportsphile.  Each time they played the Cubs that year….they played against two future US Presidents and a future General Counsel for Pennsoil Corporation….man….what a lineup card for a Little League game….talk about POWER THROUGHOUT THE BATTING ORDER !!!!


All that being said….it would be really scary…and down right hilarious…. if all HUMANS had to wear a mask for next Halloween that depicted what each of them would look like after age 70….and the thought of that possibility was stimulated by seeing his old friends from Midland sitting behind home plate on this night.   

What still remains a phenomenon today is that a small town out in West Texas could produce so many “power brokers” in the grand scheme of things…..all of whom had a deep love for the game of baseball…..and still do today in 2017….long after their days of dealing out power has passed. There is absolutely no question that the Bush Presidents and 1st Ladies just love baseball.

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