Former President George W. Bush was a part of the Texas Rangers’ first ball ceremony at Globe Life Field Sunday as the MLB and America’s pastime paused Sunday to remember the 9/11 attacks.
“Today, we remember and thank all of the first responders who have served and continue to serve our country. #NeverForget,” the Rangers posted on Twitter shortly after the on-field remembrance.
Bush was in Arlington as the Rangers hosted the Blue Jays and was joined on the pitching mound by Fort Worth Police Officer Jimmy Pollozani and Pollozani’s 13-year-old daughter, Andita, in the ceremony.
“USA! USA!” chants greeted Bush as he was announced and stepped onto the field, reported CBS News.
Bush famously threw a perfect strike before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium, just weeks after the twin towers fell in New York City.
This year, Andita would throw out the first pitch. Before she did so, Bush gave her a baseball, a hug, and some advice. Andita threw the pitch to Rocky Wolfe, a Killeen firefighter. With Pollozani, the trio represented police officers, firefighters, and first responders, heroes who were being honored for their service and sacrifice on that tragic day 21 years ago.
Before the Blue Jays and Rangers faced each other, the stadium observed a moment of silence. During the Canadian and American national anthems, Bush stood in front of the home dugout between Texas interim manager Tony Beasley and first base coach Corey Ragsdale.
All Rangers and Blue Jays players and personnel in uniform wore a special Patriot Day patch on their caps, and both teams’ managers had special lineup cards with the day’s rosters adorned with base-shaped jewels.
Bush was part of a group that owned the Rangers for nearly a decade through the end of the 1980s and parts of the 90s. He and former First Lady Laura have lived in Dallas since he left the White House in January 2009, CBS News reported. The former president remains affiliated with the Texas baseball franchise.