Bone Daddy and I were watching the NLCS Game 4 of the N Y Mets vs. Houston Astros on 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….when 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 the crowd and stopped to showcase US President George H. and Barbara Bush sitting behind home plate at the Astrodome….for Bush had been the USA’s 41st President…and Bone Daddy commented that Bush had also been the Coach of the 1957 Midland, TX Central Little League Cubs…..while his 1st Lady Barbara was sitting next to son, George W. and Laura Bush….as G W had been the nation’s 43rd President….and starting catcher on the Midland, Texas Central Little League Cubs in 1957.
Bone Daddy had known the Bush family since he was a young boy growing up and playing Little League Baseball in Midland. Daddy Bush and Barbara were the parents of his schoolmate and baseball brother of another mother, George W. Bush. Both couples were sitting in the owner’s box with Nolan Ryan….who was better known around Houston (home of the Astros) and Arlington (home of the Texas Rangers) as Big Tex and The Ryan Express during his playing days…..as the best pitcher to ever put on an Astros or Rangers uniform.
So here were the Bush’s that he knew playing baseball as a kid in Midland….and they were sitting with one of the original Sportsphile’s (Bone Daddy lifetime heroes (evidenced by his Nolan Ryan collection which I will feature in its entirety at a later date)…..as BD’s comments about how all kids should have to wear Halloween costumes of how they would actually look when they had become elderly…came as a result of seeing the former Presidents and their 1st Ladies…all of whom he knew personally….while remembering how they each looked 50+ years ago in Midland….as BD said, “my how time flies when you’re having fun”.
BD then 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….when he lamented that considering the players for the two Little League teams (Cubs & Braves) that day were two future USA Presidents with one the starting catcher and the other the coach (George W. Bush and father George H. Bush)….plus two future CEO’s of Fortune 500 Corporations (Kenny Jastrow, CEO Temple- Inland Corp and Jack Hightower, CEO Unocal Corp)…..one future 4 Star US Army General (Gen Tommy Franks),.…which gives a fairly good picture of the byproduct which came out of the town and the place….and that was just considering the boys playing on two Central Little League teams in 1957. The truth be known…..there were too many success stories to come out of Midland, Texas in the 1950’s and 1960’s to ever list here….cuz any way you cut the pie…..the town and the area around Midland just seem to breed success.
The picture below of the 1957 Midland Central Little League Braves team includes a future CEO of Temple Inland Industries (Kenny Jastrow), who served as Chairman and CEO of Temple-Inland Inc., an Austin based Fortune 500 company with interests in paper, forest products, real estate and financial services, from 2000 to 2007. Jastrow worked at Temple-Inland for over 27 years. He served as President and Chief Operating Officer in 1998 and 1999, Group Vice President from 1995 until 1998, and Chief Financial Officer of Temple-Inland from November 1991 until 1998…..then there is a future self-made billionaire (Jack Hightower), who served as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer of the Unocal Corporation….. as Jack has over 48 years of experience in the oil and gas industry managing multiple exploration & production (“E&P”) platforms….and is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the general partner of HighPeak LP, a position held since October 2017..…in addition to those two CEO’s of Fortune 500 Companies in the picture is a future Producer for ABC Sports (Terry Jastrow), who is the younger brother of Kenny Jastrow mentioned above….as Terry has been the Producer and / or Director of some of the world’s greatest events over the last 30 years…..while also being a Screenwriter, Playwright, Theatrical Director and Acting Teacher. The following is a partial list of his accomplishments: In Film / Television, Mr. Jastrow has received 7 Emmy Awards and been nominated 17 times. He started working for ABC Sports at age 21, being the youngest network television sports producer ever at age 23. He went on to serve as a Producer and / or Director at ABC Sports for 24 years. Among the many projects that Terry produced or directed are…..Super Bowl XIX….68 of golf’s Major Championships including the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship….the Indy 500….and ABC’s Wide World of Sports…..while being the Producer / Director of six Olympic Games including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies most notably for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles….where Bone Daddy set an Olympic fan record by attending a live event in all 26 sports that medals were competed for in these L A Games ….and then a future Sportsphile (Bone Daddy) of course….and each time they played the Cubs that year….they played against two future US Presidents (George H Bush and George W Bush), a future General Counsel for Pennsoil Corporation (James Shaddux) and a future 4 Star US Army General (Tommy Franks), who is a retired general in the United States Army….whose last army post was as the Commander of the United States Central Command overseeing United States military operations in a 25-country region, including the Middle East. Franks succeeded General Anthony Zinni to this position on July 6, 2000 and served until his retirement on July 7, 2003…..as he was the United States general leading the attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan in response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon in 2001…..plus he also oversaw the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. ….so, considering all of the above…man, what a lineup card for a Little League game….talk about POWER THROUGHOUT THE BATTING ORDER !!!!
With 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….but 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…..even long after their days of dealing out power had passed.