George H. W. Bush update

Three weeks ago, I contacted George H. W. Bush’s personal aide to get more information about a foul ball that the former president once snagged at Yankee Stadium.

I just received the following reply:


Mr. Hample –

Thank you for your patience in awaiting a reply to your request.

Unfortunately, at age 85, President Bush simply does not have the recall of such events that he used to have. I hate to be the bearer of disappointing news, but President Bush will not be able to provide anything for your project. He is of course a big baseball fan and if you are looking for further information on his thoughts on baseball in general I would suggest contacting the Presidential Library in College Station, TX.

Best of luck with the project,

[name deleted for privacy]
Aide to President Bush



I’d been hoping to get all the details about Bush’s snag and write up a whole story about it for the “celebrity ballhawks” section of my book, but instead, it’ll only get a brief mention.



    Heres my extremely cynical analysis:

    Mr. Hample-
    Your letter is unimportant, so thats why it took so long for us to reply.

    Unfortunatly because this is so meaningless to George, we didnt even bother to ask him about it, but we dont want any bad publicity. Furthermore, if you want any more info on George’s ideas, dont bother us, but bother the library.

    Im not sure if thats exactly how it went down, but unfortunately, it seems how thats how politics work these days.


    Were i to connect Bush, Sr., “foul”, and Baseball, i’d go straight to the Texas Rangers– via “foul spawn”.
    Senior Bush is arguably the worst president ever. i certainly am glad he now has an aide, insofar as he has always been incompetent and in need of assistance (except for that November day in 1963. . .). Too bad he didn’t have rational help during his time in office.


    yes its just that im a cynical person, and the view of politics that ive had is that we are just the little people, and we dont matter, so unless you’re making a campaign donation, we dont care.

  4. 2swingandamiss

    Well thats no fun…from the sound of that letter i would say they didn’t even bother to ask him. But in all actuality he probably really wouldn’t remember much about it anyways, i have a grandmother that is about that age and she doesn’t remember much of anything ether..she always asking for hot soup and HOT salad. lol

  5. txfilmmkr

    Having met GHW Bush on a couple occasions I can say that he is a very nice and personable person. He’s a huge baseball fan and genuinely loves the game. He and Barbara attend numerous Astros games each year, probably 20-30. He’s also very approachable and gladly signed a ball for me on the sweet spot. Having said that, he is an older man now, so I don’t doubt that he probably has a fuzzy recollection of what he had for breakfast, let alone a ball that he caught some seventy-odd years ago. His handlers may or may not have actually asked him, but the line they fed you is rational.

    As for worst President ever, I wouldn’t go that far. He was far from the best, but he was a far cry better than the father of modern radical Islam, Jimmy Carter. Besides, hinting that GHWB had anything to do with what went down in Dallas in November of ’63 puts a person squarely in the crackpot category.

    Donny in Houston


    Aye, Donny in Houston– and i won’t forget that it was the former Director of the C.I.A., that same George Bush, Sr., what coddled Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriega and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and Colin Powell and that piece of **** what squatted in our White House for 8 years just past.
    May he and “Bar” go fuzzily and quickly to the hell where they belong– did someone mention Texas?

  7. 2swingandamiss

    ooh man its getting to political in here…i told you baseball and politics don’t mix!!

  8. padreleigh

    Hey Zack….

    Bad luck on the President Bush request. I imagine that if you were a Republican, it might have worked out differently. Ha ha. I’m sure they were like writer from NY=Democrat. Ha ha. No soup for you. I got a couple foul balls last year. I’m kinda famous. If you want to write about me, let’s set something up and get it in the book. I’ll be sitting by the phone waiting for your call. Ha ha. Later, bro.


  9. dbacks1985

    You know, Zack, the GHWB Presidential Library might not be a bad place to contact anyway. If the President ever wrote anything down about catching a foul ball, or ever spoke about it on the record, it would most likely be there. Presidential Libraries are full of that sort of thing, even from before the President took office.

    I’d call ’em up and explain your request, and see if they can help you.

  10. zackhample

    Doubtful. The elder Bush caught the ball as a kid. He would’ve had to tell his son about it, and his son would have had to remember all the details, and I would have to get access to his son, and that’s not going to happen.

    Pretty much.

    Wow, very cool. Maybe I’ll get to see it if I head back to the K again this season.


    At least his aide had the decency to respond. I’ve been trying to get a hold of Doug Flutie for months, and his agent won’t even return an email or a voice-mail.

    My dad is 84, and he’s razor-sharp, hilarious, and remembers everything. Age is just a number, not an excuse…but I’m sorry your grandmother is having a rough go of it.

    Father of modern radical Islam? I’ve never heard that one before. Can you elaborate?

    I forget…what exactly are you famous for, other than being featured in several of my blog entries? :-)

    Thanks, not a bad idea…

  11. goisles

    Poor Puck Collector has grown up in a household with folks who worked on Capitol Hill and with other elected officials and their professional consultants. Unfortunately, has been exposed to too much cynicism. While he could be right –I think the letter is honest. Who knows, maybe GHWB got one in BP by putting on a Philadelphia Athletics jersey and having Al Simmons flip him a ball when Connie Mack wasn’t looking and he’s too embarrassed to repeat the story, although surely he would remember that!

    I was going to write exactly what Dbacks wrote on following up with the presidential library. You’d be amazed at the letters these libraries possess–the good, bad, and the ugly.

  12. jere80

    “hinting that GHWB had anything to do with what went down in Dallas in November of ’63 puts a person squarely in the crackpot category.”

    I think saying “the father of modern radical Islam, Jimmy Carter” and then calling OTHER people crackpots puts a person even more squarely in the crackpot category.

    But about the letter: I just can’t believe a person would forget a moment like that. And if he’s losing it, you’d think the old stuff is what he WOULD remember, like how people with Alzheimer’s can tell you what they were doing in 1922 but sadly have forgotten how to eat. Who knows.

  13. zackhample

    Hilarious about Connie Mack, and hey, thanks for your behind-the-scenes “insight” with this. :-)

    I am enjoying watching this from the sidelines.


  14. txfilmmkr

    The world is full of conspiracy theories revolving around the JFK assassination involving the CIA, Cuban revolutionaries, and even Marilyn Monroe. They’re all theories though. What is fact, is that Jimmy Carter and his handlers assisted in the fall of the Shah of Iran and the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini, giving the radical Islamic movement control of it’s first official state. For fifty years prior, radical Islam had been the extreme outsiders of the Muslim faith, watching it all unfold from the cheap seats. Carter upgraded them to the big show by giving the Ayatollah control and thus a huge pulpit from which to spread like a cancer. This isn’t a Oliver Stone fictional movie, it’s proven fact.

    But I can see that you still harbor some deep resentment for Al Gore’s loss way back in 2000. Sometimes, people are just too angry with the past to see that they’re currently living in the present.

    Donny in Houston

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