Little League® International joins the world in remembering the legacy of President George H.W. Bush, who passed away on Friday, November 30, 2018 at the age of 94. President Bush and his wife, the late Barbara Bush, were Little League parents in Texas during their children’s early years. And, over the course of 60 years, President Bush was an ardent supporter of Little League International.
“For decades, Little League International has been honored to call President George H.W. Bush, and his entire family, friends of our organization,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Whether it was during his days as a Little League coach in Midland, Texas, or supporting Little League International’s efforts at the highest level during his term in the White House, President Bush and Little League had many opportunities to cross paths. For that, we are eternally grateful. On behalf of the entire Little League International family, I extend our utmost condolences to the Bush family, as we all remember the legacy of President Bush.”
Watch: George H.W. Bush 75th Anniversary Vignette
In recognition of their support of Little League International, in 1980, the Little League Parents of the Year Award was established to acknowledge the parents of a Major League Baseball player, who were actively involved in their son’s Little League experience. In 1989, Little League honored President and Mrs. Bush by adding their names to the award that is presented annually during the Little League Baseball® World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
President Bush was also integral in Little League’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 1989, honoring Little League with a reception on the South Lawn of the White House. A few days following that event, President and Mrs. Bush traveled to the United States Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, with former Little League President and CEO, Dr. Creighton J. Hale, to deliver the first Little League charter to leagues established after the fall of the Soviet Union.
In April 2007, at the 24th Little League International Congress in Houston, former President and Mrs. Bush were honored as Little League’s “First Family,” during the Chairman’s Luncheon.
President and Mrs. Bush’s love of sports and Little League was passed on to their family. Following his election as the 43rd President of the United States in 2000, their son, President George W. Bush, continued the family’s support of the Little League program by inviting Little Leaguers® to the White House as part of the “Tee Ball on the South Lawn” program. In January 2009, Little League’s Southwestern Regional Center in Waco, Texas, was named the George W. Bush Little League Training Center.
“When we think of the legacy of President George H.W. Bush, we will always remember him as an exceptional patriot and a dedicated father,” said Hugh Tanner, Little League International Board of Directors Chairman. “Like millions of families around the world, President Bush and his family made their way to the Little League field every season to support their children and the children in their community. Our heartfelt condolences are with the entire Bush family, and we are forever grateful for his, and his family’s, support of Little League International.”
President and Mrs. Bush were married for 73 years, until her passing in April 2018. President Bush is survived by sons, George, Jeb, Neil, and Marvin; daughter Dorothy; and several grandchildren. He is also predeceased by daughter, Robin.
@LittleLeague 50th Anniversary celebration hosted by President and Mrs. Bush June 1989…from all of us at Little League International our deepest condolences to the Bush family for your loss and many thanks for your valued friendship. pic.twitter.com/xnY5JvJy4r
— Steve Keener (@littleleagueceo) April 18, 2018