Book update No. 10 — George H. W. Bush

I just sent the following email to the former president’s personal aide:

Dear Mr. [name]-

I’m writing a baseball book for Random House (scheduled to be published in March 2011), and I have a quick question for George H. W. Bush.
The book is about the historical and cultural significance of baseballs. I have a chapter called “Foul Balls in Pop Culture,” which includes a section about celebrities who have caught foul balls at major league games. Jimmy Carter caught one in Atlanta in 1996. Billy Crystal once caught one, too. So did Jermaine Jackson and a number of Hall-of-Fame athletes. Charlie Sheen once bought 2,600 seats at an Angels game to increase his odds of catching a home run ball. (He failed miserably, but he’s still gonna be in the book.)
Anyway, while researching these other stories, I learned that President Bush snagged a foul ball as a kid at Yankee Stadium. I couldn’t find any additional info about it, however, so if possible, I’d love to get a few details so that I can include his story in the book. (What year was it? Where was he sitting? Who hit it? Did he catch the ball on the fly? Was he wearing a glove? What did he do with the ball? How did it feel? Etc.) I don’t even need to speak directly to him. All I really need are some details (and ideally a quick quote) so if you think you could get that from him and forward it to me, that would be incredible.
If it would help convince you that I’m legit, I can put you in touch with my agent, as well as my editor at Random House.
Thanks very much for your consideration,
Zack Hample
[phone number]


  1. txfilmmkr

    I know that he and Barbara attend a lot of Astros games during the season and they can often be seen right behind home plate in the owner’s seats. I wouldn’t be surprised if he managed to grab a ball there at some point. I managed to get his autograph on a ball as they were leaving one game while I was hanging behind the Diamond Club section patrolling for foul balls.

    Donny in Houston

  2. 2swingandamiss

    How on earth did you find that out?? That would be pretty sweet to have an article about a presidential foul ball catch but you might get some bush haters. politics and baseball dont mix well lol


    Zack, you may have some luck with George H.W. He does sign autographs through the mail…not autopen. Years ago I got a photo from the Hall of Fame….a pic of the former Pres, as a Yale 1st baseman, with Babe Ruth. The Babe was at Yale for a presentation. I sent it to George H. W. He signed it, and a staff person wrote “to Dave” in caligraphy above it ( to make it look nicer, and probably to keep people from trying to sell it). Along with this came a nicely printed card saying the former Pres did sign this personally, and he only signs one item for a given person. Also, for a number of years I sent letters to mostly retired ballplayers, hoping for a written response. I sent one to the former Pres, asking him about the experience of meeting the Babe. His staff sent me a COPY of a handwritten letter from the Pres describing his day with the Babe. I figure that he’d gotten enough requests like this that he decided to write a letter, and then have his staff send out copies to people who wrote to him about it. Not the original, but still pretty cool. All this is no guarantee that you’ll get a response, but there’s hope. Seems to me that George H. W. is a people person. Good Luck. -Dave


    Zack, you should try to do hour interview with George H.W. Bush or Bush 41. I’m curious to know how important, and to what affect, getting that foul ball as youngster made Bush 41 want to play baseball and play it in college at Yale. You proabably would have to go to Texas to do the interview, but asking various questions about baseball and in his son’s involvement with the Texas Ranagers would make for an interesting chapter in your book.

  5. zczakouk

    Hey Zack, I can just imagine George Bush diving over seats for a ball, making a 6 year old cry that was about to catch it. By the way, breaking news from the Padres is that your good friend Heath Bell has signed a one year deal, so good news

    Zak, 15 (zczakouk)


    Well i can just imagine Barack Obama makeing every person who got a ball at the game give them all to him, so he can then divy the balls up among EVERY person at the game, because wouldnt it just be a shame if the person who didnt try for a baseball went home without one, and it wouldnt be fair for the ballhawks who try hard to collect balls to end up with too many.

  7. zackhample

    Cool. But I’d think that the protective screen would make it tough to snag foul balls there…right?

    I’ve done SO much research for this book that I’ve stumbled across some random/unknown stuff along the way. As for mixing baseball and politics, I’ve found that if I were to root for players based on what type of people they are…let’s just say that I wouldn’t be able to root for too many of them, so I try to leave that out of it, for the most part.

    Very cool. Thanks for letting me know. I still haven’t heard back from his assistant, so I might be forced to mail him a letter and ask the question that way.


    Interesting idea, but I think that might be veering off a bit from the main focus of the book. If I could talk to Bush about it (unlikely), I’d ask him about this, and if he were to give me a great answer, then I’d write a paragraph or two about it, but there isn’t any ONE person (politics aside) who’s getting a whole chapter in the book, no matter what.

    Nice. But for the “celebrity ballhawks” section, I’m just gonna focus on major league games.

    I’m going to refrain from making any political jokes here, but as for Heath Bell…totally awesome.

    Yeah yeah…


    yeah yeah :( i just thought that it was totally asinine to infer that Bush is an ********* just because he was a bad president.

  9. txfilmmkr

    Zack, you’d be surprised how many fall in the front row of the Diamond Club. Not just the obvious, sky high straight up and downers, but many bounce off the facades or the aisles and into the BACK of the screen, which deposits them squarely into the front row.

    Donny in Houston

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s