Films on Friday: Remembering President George H.W. Bush’s Love of Baseball


MLB put together this tribute to former president George H.W. Bush, who passed away last week at the age of 94:

ESPN.com also put together a video honoring the late President:

http://www.espn.com/video/clip/_/id/25422090

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

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George H.W. Bush and Baseball


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George H.W. Bush played baseball while at the Phillips Academy in Andover,
Massachusetts

Much has been said this past week about President George H.W. Bush and his love of baseball. Several organizations, including Little League Baseball, paid their respects with fitting tributes. Here is a run down of just a few of his baseball-related honors and accomplishments:

 

  • 1946-48 – Played baseball at Yale University.
  • 1984 – While Vice President, participated in an old-timers game with the Denver Bears at Mile High Stadium.
  • 1989 – Using his own glove, threw out the first pitch at the Orioles season opener on April 3.
  • 1989 – Threw out the first pitch in Anaheim on April 25.
  • 1989 – Little League Baseball renamed the “Little League Parents of the Year Award” the “George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award.”
  • 1989 – Celebrated Little League’s 50th anniversary with a reception on the South Lawn of the White House; later, later traveled with the Little League President to Warsaw, Poland, to deliver the first Little League charter to leagues that were established after the fall of the Soviet Union.
  • 1989 – Threw out the first pitch in Baltimore on June 28
  • 1989 – Attended baseball game in Baltimore on August 4.
  • 1990 – Threw out the first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game on April 10; became the first President to attend a baseball game in Canada.
  • 1990 – Threw out the first pitch in Baltimore on July 16.
  • 1991 – Threw out the first pitch at the Rangers game on April 8.
  • 1991 – Attended an Orioles game with Queen Elizabeth on May 15.
  • 1991 – Attended Frederick Keys game at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, MD, on June 8.
  • 1992 – Threw out the first pitch for the opening of Camden Yards on April 6.
  • 1991 – Awarded the “President’s Award” to Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio and attended the 1991 All-Star Game with them.
  • 1995 – Attended Ted Williams’ spring event at the Hitters Hall of Fame.
  • 2000 – Threw out the Opening Day first pitch for the Texas Rangers.
  • 2005 – Met Red Sox Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr at his home in Kennebunkport.
  • 2007 – At the Little League International Congress, President and Mrs. Bush were honored as Little League’s “First Family.
  • 2015 – Threw out the first pitch of the American League Championship Series in Houston, TX.
  • 2014 – The National College Baseball Hall of Fame facility in Lubbock, TX, was named the George H.W. Bush National College Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 2017 – Threw the first pitch before the 5th game of the World Series in Houston, TX.

 

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

The Swampoodle Grounds


1024px-Flickr_-_USCapitol_-_Washington_Nationals_baseball_team_of_the_National_League_circa_1886-1889

Earlier this week I was reading through “This Day in All Teams History” at Nationalpastime.com, when I stumbled upon this entry for September 11, 1886:

“At Washington’s Swampoodle Grounds, backstop Connie Mack makes his major league debut when the Nationals, in a rare victory, edge the Philadelphia Quakers, 4-3. The journeyman catcher will post the most big league wins and losses as a manager, compiling a 3731-3948 (.486) record with the Pirates and A’s during his 53-year managerial career.”

Having lived and worked in the Washington, DC, area for years, I was surprised I’d never heard of the Swampoodle Grounds. After all, “Swampoodle” is not a name one easily forgets (note: see my disclaimer below). So, I did my research.

Swampoodle_Area_added_to_a_Rand,_McNally_&_Co._Map_of_1893

Swampoodle (See larger map of the area below)

Swampoodle was a neighborhood in northeast Washington, DC (now part of the so-called NoMa District). The term is actually a contraction of the words “swamp” and “puddle” and is a reference to the fact that the nearby Tiber Creek often overflowed in that area. The neighborhood was originally settled by Irish immigrants escaping the potato famine in the mid-1800s.

Located in the neighborhood was the Swampoodle Grounds, more officially known as Capitol Park. Home of the Washington Nationals baseball team from 1886 to 1889, the ballpark was bounded by Delaware Avenue (first base side), G Street (right field), North Capitol Street (left field), and F Street (third base side). Today, Union Station stands near the site of the former ballpark. The name will once again be used for a new playground and dog park to be located 3rd and L Streets.

~ baseballrebecca

 

Postscript: Naturally, as I did my research, I also discovered that the Swampoodle Grounds was featured in the blog Archived Innings earlier this year and I had, in fact, read the post and liked it. Obviously, I have a terrible memory. (Next year at this time I probably rediscover the Swampoodle Grounds all over again!)

Swampoodle_Area_added_to_a_Rand,_McNally_&_Co._Map_of_1893

Swampoodle area of Washington, DC, in 1893 (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Hank Aaron Stadium


dscn7572.jpgA little over week ago, I began writing about my recent trip to Alabama, where I visited the Negro Southern League Museum and the Mobile BayBears. But that was before the trade deadline, before they traded Jonathan Schoop, another of my favorite Orioles and the other half of the Machado-Schoop bromance. (Obviously, I’m still not over it.)

Today and tomorrow, I’ll finally finish my tale of baseball in Alabama and my visit to the Mobile BayBears, who will be relocating to Madison, AL, in 2020. They’ve done a phenomenal job of preserving baseball history at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile. Not only did they move Hank Aaron’s childhood home from Toulminville, AL, to the stadium grounds, but they have several historical exhibits around the stadium.

For starters, check out the pictures of Hank Aaron’s childhood home:

Throughout the stadium concourse, there are actual stadium seats from current and former baseball stadiums around the country. First, there’s Fulton County Stadium, where Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s record:

Next, we stumbled upon seats from Wrigley Field, although it’s unclear exactly why they were there:

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Finally, there are seats from Milwaukee County Stadium, where Hank Aaron started his career with the Milwaukee Braves and ended it with the Milwaukee Brewers:

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Stay tuned for more about the Mobile BayBears tomorrow!

~ baseballrebecca

Baseball in Alabama


IMG_2225Since we were traveling to Georgia to attend a family event, we decided we may as well make a few stops in Alabama as well and check out some baseball history. It did not take long as we stumbled upon a cool exhibit almost as soon as we deplaned and walked through the airport. The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Museum has a small exhibit and a gift shop at the intersection of concourses B and C in Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The exhibit highlights Hank Aaron, Frank Thomas, Ozzie Smith, and Bo Jackson, as well as some non-baseball folks. The ASHOF was not on my itinerary this trip, as I had been there several years ago. Nonetheless, its a must-see for any Alabama baseball pilgrimage.

After the unexpected baseball exhibit in the airport, we made our way downtown toward Regions Field, home of the Birmingham Barons. I’d visited this stadium a few years back as well, and was extremely impressed.

DSCN7558Our primary objective for this trip, however, was the Negro Southern League Museum, which is just down the street from Regions Field. We parked the car near Railroad Park, a recreational area downtown, and made our way toward the museum. On our way, we noted that a portion of 1st street, which borders the park, is dedicated to Willie Mays.

Just down the street from the park is the Negro Southern League Museum, which is is absolutely awesome! Tomorrow’s post is dedicated to my visit to this must-see baseball museum.

~ baseballrebecca