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George W. Bush back for World Series first pitch

By Jake Beardslee · October 28, 2023

In brief…

  • Former President George W. Bush threw first pitch before Game 1 of 2023 World Series in Texas
  • Bush previously owned the Rangers and it was his 12th time throwing an MLB first pitch
  • First pitch was 2001 World Series weeks after 9/11 attacks in New York
  • Has now thrown 5 first pitches for Rangers games, 3 in World Series Rangers played in
  • Bush is first president or former president to throw first pitch at MLB game since 2017
Former President George W. Bush returned to Texas to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the 2023 World Series between his former team, the Texas Rangers, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Records of the White House Photo Office (George W. Bush Administration) / Wikimedia

On Friday night, former President George W. Bush tossed out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the 2023 World Series between the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The 43rd President of the United States took the mound at the home stadium of the team he once owned. Bush came out shortly after the national anthem and was joined by Rangers’ catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, who crouched behind home plate to receive the pitch.

This marked the 12th time Bush has thrown out a first pitch at an MLB game and his 5th time doing so as a former president. His appearance in Arlington was his first ceremonial toss since the 2017 World Series in Houston between the Astros and Dodgers. Until Friday night, no sitting or former president had thrown a first pitch at an MLB game since Bush in 2017.

While Bush has now taken the mound 11 times for first pitches, perhaps his most memorable was the strike he threw before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium. Just weeks after 9/11, Bush stood on the mound in a bulletproof vest under an FDNY sweater and confidently threw a perfect strike to cheers of “USA” from the Bronx crowd.

This was Bush’s 5th time throwing a first pitch for a Rangers’ game, with his first coming on opening day 2000 during his time as Texas governor. It was also his 3rd time doing so in a World Series where the Rangers were playing.