Baseball and the Political Machine

By JOE BOESCH

Baseball or Politics?

That’s the question I’ve been asked many times. As a young struggling sportswriter, I had the opportunity to cover some of the 1992 Presidential Election and the race to The White House. As a young reporter, and a young struggling writer, interviewing former Second Lady Marilyn Quayle was the chance of a lifetime.

I, must say, it was quite amazing as her appearance, and my mug shot, appeared on almost every local and national television network. There’s one thing that sticks out in my mind: “Never ask someone close to the President about his/her feelings and what he does?” I was an inexperienced writer and asked the former Second Lady something about President George H.W. Bush (the father) and her response was: “I don’t speak for the President.”

So, all the talk about the Balanced Budget Amendment and slinging of mud, ended my political writing career. I decided to continue my focus on sports, especially baseball. But, I was more intrigued about George H.W. Bush playing baseball at Yale University and former President George W. Bush owning the Texas Rangers.

Do I dare ask the Second Lady about baseball? No!

My Presidential baseball question had to wait. My desire to learn about the Bush’s baseball prospectus couldn’t be fulfilled for this struggling baseball scribe. I must read, research and learn on my own.

It’s true that George H.W. Bush was the Yale Baseball Captain and also received Babe Ruth’s autobiography in a 1948 ceremony at Yale. Truly amazing! He was also a pretty good first baseman and played pretty well around the diamond.

In 1989, President George W. Bush bought the Texas Rangers and then sold it in 1998 for three times the price he paid for it. I, personally, remember “W” throwing out the first pitch after 9/11. To me, that signified how baseball shapes America and brings it closer in time of need.

My short political career was a great experience. But, it was always baseball and that’s what I continue to do.

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