One of Bone Daddy’s favorite sayings is “Time will either promote you or expose you.”…..which I have finally learned that it means that in all of life’s endeavors…the time spent on those endeavors will either promote you or expose you….for it isn’t the exposure that matters most….rather it is what you do after you are exposed that will either promote you or expose you from there…..for you have the choice….and it is my opinion that this concept is very applicable to my story today….as I also share some wonderfully unique pieces of video as I tell the story…..which I hope you will enjoy.
News & Baseball – 2018 – Huff Post Special – 1990 Topps Baseball Card Of George H W Bush 1B Yale Which Started A Baseball Card Bidding Craze
While Bone Daddy and I were watching an Astros game one night…..sitting behind home plate in plain sight of the television audience was America’s 41st President George H. Bush & 1st Lady Barbara…. sitting next to America’s 43rd President George W. Bush & 1st Lady Laura. That’s when BD began to share with me the stories that seeing the Bush family on TV that night brought to his mind….. which in turn became the story that I share with you today……cuz something in BD’s voice told me to take really good notes in regards to the stories from this particular evening. Bone Daddy began what became a long rendition of sharing some very special memories of growing up a kid in West Texas…..and playing baseball with future Presidents of the United State of America…..which was a game that they all loved then…..and still do today.
Baseball – 1970 To 1985 – Special – MLB Remembers The Life Of President George H W Bush
I have known for a fact that George W. Bush and his daddy, George H. Bush, have had a love affair with baseball since way back in the summer of 1957….cuz that was the summer that “Daddy George” was the Coach of the Central Little League Cubs……and “Sonny Boy George” was the first player drafted…..becoming the starting catcher for the Cubs that same year. I also know that this love for baseball went much further back than the mid 50’s….cuz “Daddy George” had previously played college baseball attending Princeton University back in the 40’s….and although I don’t know this one for sure….I would just bet ya that his father was probably the one who got him started in his love for the game…..that’s typically the way the game of baseball works….father introduces and teaches the game to his kids.
I will rest my case in regards to the Bush’s love affair with baseball by saying this….long after George W. had sold his interest in the Texas Ranger MLB Franchise…..relinquishing his position as Managing Partner of the team….and long after all the playing days had faded into memories…..they were still sitting in the stands rooting on their Home Team….the Houston Astros…..and I’ll double the bet with you by saying if you go ahead five years from now and the Bush’s are still alive in 2015….that you will see them behind home plate rooting for their home team.
Midland, TX in 1957 had a population of around 57,000…..which really isn’t very big…….but it had 5 Major Little Leagues comprising of the Northern League, Southern League, Western League, Eastern League and Central League…..with 8 teams in each league…..and that was just the major leagues….I wasn’t even counting the minor league teams. Now folks….for a town of 57,000…that is a large portion of the whole town’s total kid boy population that was playing organized baseball…..so to say that baseball was at the very fiber of life in West Texas during the time Bone Daddy was just a boy with a mitt, a ball and a bat…..would be a fair and accurate statement.
MLB – 2004 – Special – US President George W Bush Throws 1st Pitch On St Louis Cardinals Opening Day Of Season
Although BD played against George W. and the Cubs that summer of 1957….BD’s real connection to the future President was through his best friend, TNT……who lived in the same neighborhood as W…..which was one of the newer subdivisions in Midland….while at the time was located around and just west of McCall Park….home of the Central Little League in Midland, Texas. As the story goes…..TNT would frequently hang out with W at George and Barbara’s house…..so the way I understand it…..TNT, W and BD played pick up games at McCall Park together fairly often….especially during those times when BD was out spending the night at TNT’s house…..which he did almost every other weekend…..cuz TNT would spend the night with BD on the other weekends.
While out at TNT’s house….those boys would always end up at McCall Park to play baseball…..you know…. ”flys and skinners” or “home run derby” or “tag up games”……and generally after playing ball…..cuz that’s when BD proceeds to tell me how after their games….. which always took place in the evenings during the heat of summer….a time of the year where it is normal to have triple digit temperature in West Texas for many days in a row…..TNT, W, BD and usually Hook, Peanut, Hoss and several other players and friends who were at McCall Park playing on a regular basis…..would all end up jumping the back fence at W’s house…..for a cool refreshing dip in the Bush’s swimming pool…..”they were in the oil bidness ya know”….and everybody who was anybody in the “oil bidness” in Midland back then….had a swimming pool in their back yard. BD remembered vividly how W’s mom…..Babs (I’d would have called her Babs if I had known her personally)….would bring out bologna and peanut butter n jelly sandwiches for the boys to chow down on…..knowing that they all would be hungry after playing baseball at McCall Park. Any way you cut the pie…..these folks were really good, caring parents and solid citizens of success.
MLB – 2011 – World Series Game 4 Texas Rangers Vs St Louis Cardinals Special First Pitch With President George W Bush And His Catcher HOF Pitcher Nolan Ryan
DOG ASIDE: Since I have spent a lifetime with a boy from West Texas….I understand the language out West very well ….so I’ll always try to help you in the translation of how it is said in West Texas….therefore when BD says they’d “jump the fence”….well that’s what they actually did regularly as boys in Midland, Texas….cuz jumping over the fences was the fastest way to get to where they wanted to go….so they’d hop over the fence into someone’s backyard….and then hop over the same fence on the other side of that backyard…. and why you say….well as usual…”a dog understands simple better than most HUMANS”….cuz it was the shortest distance to where they were going….and since everything is bigger in Texas….well for sure in West Texas everything is even bigger than normal in Texas…..the ranches houses, the back yards…. the length of a city block….and since these were their realities….then jumping the fences was a logical approach for young boys in a hurry to get to wherever they were going…..you know….in a hurry to go nowhere in particular…..and jumping the fence was always easier than going through the back gate. To give you a real understanding of what West Texas looks like…..I have decided to share with you a wonderfully produced photography collection of West Texas as seen through the eye of Wyman Meinzer’s camera…..as Meinzer is my favorite photographer…..and the State Photographer of Texas, who just happens to have been born and raised in West Texas….just like Bone Daddy.
Photography & Music – 2010 – Special – Texas State Photographer Wyman Meinzer’s “West Texas” With Music By Doug Smith
The most interesting connection between the kids and parents of this story from 60+ years back….is that even today there exists a common thread of love for the game of baseball amongst them all…..which although the players from the Central Little League of Midland, Texas all went their separate ways in their lives after graduating from high school….and although their lives took them each in very far reaching directions…..they still each had a common love of the game of baseball….which would remain an integral part of each of those boys for the rest of their lives….and to this very day….for a pure love for the game provides still today….a common thread that runs through each of these fellows…..regardless of who or what they became in their life’s paths. For this I know as a fairly astute canine….if any of those boys who played ball in the Central Little League way back when…..were all to come together today for any reason….and if they all sat down to watch a baseball game together…..each and every one of them would be transported back to the place and time of being kids playing ball in Midland in 1957 at McCall Park…..just for the love of the game.
MLB – 2011 – Special – Remembering President George W. Bush First Pitch At Yankee Stadium After 9/11 Terrorist Attack On New York Twin Towers
All I can say from the eye of this discerning dog’s perspective….it seems to me that the infusion of the unique mentalities that it took to create huge ranching empires …..came together in perfect harmony…..with the unique mentalities that the oil wildcatters brought to West Texas….which produced off-springs of success like West Texas had never seen before or since. The perfect example of this incredible fact would be revealed by viewing a snapshot taken of all the boys participating in the Central Little League Baseball League in the summer of 1957 in Midland, Texas. The folks who attended games at McCall Park….home of Midland’s Central Little League….observed two future United States Presidents (a catcher and his coach)…. one future CEO of Temple Inland Corporation (major global producer of white/brown paper products in the world)….one future General Counsel for Pennsoil Corp….one future self made billionaire and ex-CEO of Unocal Oil Corp….one future Head Producer of ABC Sports golf….one future Head of Middle Eastern Operations for Hunt Oil Company…..and of course….. one future serious Sportsphile….and one future head of my world.
MLB – 1985 – Special – Vice-President George H W Bush Throws Out The 1st Pitch On Opening Day At NY Mets Shea Stadium
There are definitely a whole lot more success stories of those who played Little League Baseball….that year in Midland….I just don’t know about them first hand like I do with BD. I know this….that place way out in the middle of nowhere called Midland, TX….had a way of creating success stories….all of which had roots back to playing baseball….but any way that you cut that pie….ranch barons….wildcatters and baseball….brought them all together on the same playing field…..and it didn’t matter one hoot what each participant would become in life….baseball would remain a constant force and love in each one of those boys lives to this day.
MLB – 2017 – World Series Game 5 Astros Vs Dodgers Ceremonial 1st Pitch With Presidents George H W Bush & George W Bush Throwing To Astros P Justin Verlander