President George H.W. Bush, who died yesterday at the age of 94, was an avid sportsman dating back to his days as a first baseman at Yale University. His lifelong love of baseball stayed with him, as did his university ball glove, which he reportedly kept oiled and always ready for a game of catch.
Bush enjoyed other outdoor activities, including fishing, golf, tennis, and even skydiving, but baseball always remained his favorite past time, says USA Today. The former president would talk about his days playing baseball at Yale where he recalls he was a better fielder than a batter. He would recall participating in two of the first NCAA Baseball championships.
“A lot of us on the team were (World War II) veterans and we had come back from the war, so maybe that made it a little less apprehensive. On the other hand, it didn’t deduct from our enthusiasm and our desire to win, which we did not do.”
As captain of the Yale team, Bush recalled that he got to meet baseball great Babe Ruth.
“I know in politics, it helps to be competitive and it helps to learn about sportsmanship and practice sportsmanship. So I found that my modest baseball career at Yale was extraordinarily helpful to me when I got into politics or got out into life in business.”
In conversations with the Yale Newspaper, he said that working as a team was his strongest memory of his time at Yale.
“The importance of teamwork, and working hard together towards a common goal. I still believe the vast majority of student-athletes in college sports today take their studies seriously, even as the amount of money being dedicated to sports programs today boggles the mind.”
Bush recalls the advice his mother gave him when he was setting off to play baseball at Yale for the Bulldogs. “I am not big on giving free advice for the simple reason that it’s usually viewed as being worth what was paid for it. That said, I would encourage each and every young man who might attend Yale and play ball to do the same things my mother (Dorothy) taught me a million years ago: do your best, share credit, focus on the team. It’s not fancy, but it worked for me.”
George H.W. Bush lost his wife Barbara back in April at the age of 92 in Houston, Texas. President George H.W. Bush is survived by five children.