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Jerry Jones joins George W. Bush at Rangers game

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Everything is everything... Staff Member

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    Former president throws out first pitch to launch Texas Rangers’ baseball season
    By GORDON DICKSONgdickson@star-telegram.com

    ARLINGTON -- Former President George W. Bush got a warm reception on a very chilly day at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Monday when he threw out the first pitch to launch the Texas Rangers’ baseball season.

    Bush, a former owner of the baseball team, threw a strike after a long old-fashioned windup.

    Sitting nearby were his wife and his two daughters. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, joined the Bush and Tom Hicks families in the owner’s box.

    Most fans appeared thrilled at being in the ballpark with the former chief executive, although there were a smattering of boos coming from the estimated 49,000 people attending the first game of the season.

    "Laura and I are excited to once again cheer on our home team at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington," Bush said in a prepared statement. "I’m honored Tom Hicks and Nolan Ryan invited me to throw out the first pitch.

    "There’s no better place to spend Opening Day than back home among fellow fans of the Texas Rangers," he said.

    The Rangers hit and pitched their way to a 9-1 victory, warming the crowd after a very cold start to the day.

    Vickie Truby of Weatherford was among those who were excited about being at the ballpark, despite the fact that it was a breezy 42 degrees before Bush took the mound. She was at the game with her 8-year-old son.

    "This is an educational experience because he needs to know his presidents and the 43rd one, George W. Bush, will be out there throwing out the ceremonial first pitch," she said. Truby allowed her son to skip school at the Lake Worth school district and said it should count as an American history credit.

    The Opening Day of the baseball season, besides being a test of the Texas Rangers’ roster, also was a tryout for the temporary lanes set up on Interstate 30 to get traffic to the ballpark and its new neighbor, the Dallas Cowboys stadium.

    The freeway is midway through a $166 million makeover -- with all main lanes temporarily moved to the eastbound side of the road, and many ramps leading in and out of the Arlington entertainment district closed or detoured.

    Traffic engineers in the city’s new Traffic Management Center in the main police station in downtown Arlington were monitoring live traffic feeds on large screen televisions Monday and adjusting signal lights whenever traffic backups began.

    At noon, traffic on westbound I-30 was backed up from the exit all the way back to Texas 360. Very few motorists traveling westbound were taking the new Legends Way exit, which feeds directly to the ballpark’s north parking lots.

    Officials wound up blocking the Ballpark Way exit to force people to use the Legends Way exit so that motorists would head south to the ballpark.

    "We had some anticipated delays but the combination of having traffic and police together to come up with solutions was beneficial. We are looking forward to seeing how this collaboration continues to work with upcoming games and events in our entertainment district," said Tiara Ellis, the Arlington police spokeswoman.

    Bush wound up his arm windmill-style twice before throwing the first pitch, a high strike.

    In his first big appearance locally since moving to Dallas from the White House, Bush received a standing ovation and overwhelming cheers after the public address announcer said to "welcome home the 43rd president."

    Bush was the team’s managing general partner from 1989 until being elected governor of Texas in 1994. He acknowledged the cheers as he made his way to the base of the mound.

    Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, now the team’s president, was a few steps behind to deliver the ball. Bush threw to Josh Hamilton, the team’s star outfielder.

    Afterward the two shook hands and Hamilton pulled out a pen to get the president’s signature on the ball.

    Later, Bush appeared on television with Rangers broadcasters Josh Lewin and Tom Grieve, joking about the first pitch and reminiscing about his time as an owner of the team.

    "It was a great part of my life," he said. "It really was."

    He said his daughters, Jenna and Barbara, were at the game, prompting him to say "some of the greatest memories of our family" took place while he was one of the Rangers' owners.

    Bush joked about walking his dog, Barney, along a neighborhood street for the first time in 14 years and now that he is no longer president having to carry a plastic bag to pick up after him.

    "Before, somebody else was doing that," Bush said.

    The broadcasters didn't ask him any political questions but Bush said it was an adjustment to leave the White House.

    "It took awhile to feel no sense of responsibility," said Bush, who added that he never craved the limelight and didn't miss being the center of attention.

    Staff writers Susan Schrock, Anna Tinsley and Bill Hanna contributed to this report, which contains material from The Associated Press.

  2. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Makes more sense than Steinbrenner/Clinton.


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