Monday, December 3, 2018

A Ballgame with George

One summer, while living and sweltering in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, we decided to escape the city for an evening. We drove out on a Friday after work to see the Baltimore Orioles' single-A affiliate, the Frederick Keys, about 45 minutes to the northwest. Thought it was a little strange that there were metal detectors set up at the gate (this was a decade before the 9/11 attacks). Had there been a threat of some kind, we wondered? Inside it became more surreal, as we saw a bunch of uniformed, armed officers on the roof of the small ballpark.

Long story short, the late President George H.W. Bush, a serious baseball fan and former college player, was stopping to take in a game on the way to a Camp David weekend. We'd headed out to get away from Washington for an evening, and instead it had followed us. He was escorted in, waved to the crowd, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, sat somewhere in the seats above us, and signed a few baseballs that fans tossed up to him during the several innings that he was there. I'd like to say there's more to the story, say the offer of an Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce position (declined) or an invitation to a state dinner (accepted), but will have to settle for having garnered this brief, baseball-related anecdote to tell on the occasion of his passing.

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