A COBRA Report
The Bushes of Baseball
January, 2001

In Recognition of the Inauguration of George Walker Bush
43rd President of the United States &
Rookie Oufielder for the Season 2001 Washington Presidents of the Cosmic Overleague.

  • There have been five Major League baseball players that had a last name of "Bush." Three are deceased, one is now a college baseball coach and one is an active Major Leaguer.

  • There have been two U.S. Presidents named Bush. Both President Bushes have had an intimate relationship with the great game of the quadrature.

  • Two Bushes, one a future President and one a Major League pitcher had a direct association with Babe Ruth, one of the great heroes in baseball history.

  • The term "bush league" came into use around 1909 and generally refers to something that is inferior such as organized baseball's minor leagues compared to the Major Leagues.

The Players

Leslie Ambrose Bush (1892-1974)

Born November 27, 1892 in Brainerd, Minnesota. Also known as "Bullet Joe." Leslie Ambrose Bush played in his first Major League game on September 30, 1912 with the Philadelphia Athletics. He pitched in the big leagues for 17 seasons and compiled a 196-194 won-loss record and a career earned run average of 3.51. He pitched in 489 games and yielded the same number of career strikeouts as career walks (1,319). All together "Bullet Joe" Bush played for eight different Major League teams in both the American and National Leagues. Leslie Ambrose Bush died on November 1, 1974 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Guy Terrell Bush (1901-1985)

Guy Bush
Born August 23, 1901 in Aberdeen, Mississippi. Also known as the "Mississippi Mudcat." Guy Terrell Bush was born August 23, 1901 in Aberdeen, Mississippi. He pitched in the Major Leagues for 17 seasons, making his first appearance on September 17, 1923 with the Chicago Cubs in the National League. He pitched in 542 games, won 176 of them and lost 136. His career earned run average is 3.85 and he had the same number of strikeouts as he had walks (850). With the Cubs Guy Terrell appeared in the World Series twice: once in 1929 and again in 1932. In addition to the Cubs he pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Boston Braves, the St. Louis Browns and after an eight-year break he finished his career in 1945 with the Cincinnati Reds. Guy Terrell Bush passed away on July 2, 1985 in Shannon, Mississippi.

Owen Joseph Bush (1887-1972)

Born October 8, 1887 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Also known as "Donie." Owen Joseph Bush played in his first Major League game on September 18, 1908. This began a 65-year career in organized baseball that included 16 seasons as a switch-hitting shortstop. He played all but 2 years with the American League Detroit Tigers where he was a teammate and roommate of the infamous Ty Cobb. Owen Joseph played in the 1909 World Series (Detroit lost to Pittsburgh in 7 games.) In 1917 he led the American League in runs scored with 112. In 1923, his last season he was a player/manager for the Washington Senators. He compiled an average offensive record, finishing up with a .250 career batting average while playing in 1,946 games and accumulating 7,210 at bats. He hit 9 homeruns in his career and batted in 436 runs. He went on to manage four Major League teams (Chicago White Sox, Minneapolis Twins, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates.) He managed the Pirates in the 1927 World Series (Pittsburgh lost to the New York Yankees in 4 games.) Overall his career Major League managing record is not too impressive. In seven seasons as a manager he won 497 games and lost 539 games. After managing in the big leagues Owen Joseph managed a few years in the bush leagues and eventually owned and became President of the Indianapolis Indians, a Triple A farm club then associated with Chicago White Sox. In his later years he worked for the White Sox and scouted for the Boston Red Sox. The old Victory Field in Indianapolis was renamed Owen J. Bush Stadium in honor of him. In 1996 a new downtown stadium with the old name Victory Field replaced Bush Stadium as the home of the Indianapolis Indians. In April 1997 the old Bush Stadium became the 16th Street Speedway and it now hosts midget auto races. Owen Joseph Bush passed away in Indianapolis on March 28, 1972.

(Incidentally there are at least two other noteworthy Owen Bushes although neither have an association with baseball. There was an Owen Bush who was part of the first legislature of the State of Washington and who in 1890 introduced a bill that established what is today known as Washington State University. This Owen Bush was the son of one of the earliest settlers in the Oregon Territory and a notable black citizen with the notable name of George Washington Bush. There is also a character actor known as Owen Bush who, from the 1960s on, has appeared in a variety of television shows including Bonanza, Mission Impossible, All in the Family, and Married with Children.)

Robert Randall Bush (1958-     )

Also known as "Randy." Robert Randall Bush was born in Dover, Delaware on October 5, 1958. He moved to Florida and attended the Carol City High School in the Miami suburbs. As a baseball player in high school he was named to the All State awards team. In 1978 while attending Miami Dade Community College-North he was named to the junior college All-Star team while batting .454 for the season. In 1979 Robert Randall attended the University of New Orleans where he played leftfield for the Privateers. The Privateers won the 1979 Sun Belt Conference. Robert Randall had a .369 average with 18 homeruns that season which most likely led to his being a second round draft selection in June 1979 by the Minnesota Twins. After a couple of seasons of ripening in the bush leagues he made his Major League debut with the Twins on May 1, 1982. In 12 Major League seasons, all with Minnesota, the left-hand batting and left-hand throwing Robert Randall compiled a .251 batting average and hit 96 homeruns. He played in the 1987 and 1991 World Series. In 1989 he tied a Minnesota Twins record with eight RBIs in a game. In 1991 he led the American League with 13 pitch hits and tied an American league record with 7 consecutive pitch hits. After his playing career ended Robert Randall was, for a time, the Chicago Cubs' minor-league hitting coordinator. On June 17, 1999 he was named head baseball coach of the team he had played on 20 years earlier, the University of New Orleans Privateers.

Homer Bush (1972-     )

Homer Bush
Homer Bush was born on November 12, 1972 in East St. Louis, Illinois. In high school he played baseball and football and was named to the All State football team as a split end. On June 3, 1991 the San Diego Padres in the 7th round of the Free Agent Draft selected Homer. Thus began a six-year tour in the bush leagues beginning with his joining the Scottsdale squad in the Arizona Rookie League. In 1992 Homer played with Class A Charleston. In 1993 he played for the Class A Waterloo Diamonds. He led the Midwest League with a .322 batting average and 39 stolen bases. The Padres named Homer Minor League Player of the Year. During the Winter of 1993 Homer batted .367 and was named the Most Valuable Player when he played baseball in Australia for the Brisbane Bandits who were the league champions. In 1994 he continued his trek through the bush leagues playing for the Class A team in Rancho Cucamonga and the Class AA Wichita Wranglers. In 1995 he played for the Class AA team in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1996 he wore the uniform of the Class AAA Las Vegas Stars but he broke his leg on May 17 and did not play for the rest of the season. In the Fall he baseballed in the Arizona Fall League for the Sun City team. On April 22, 1997 Homer was traded with Hideki Irabu from the Padres to the New York Yankees organization. He played 10 Major League games for the Yankees and spent some time with the Class AAA Yankee farm club in Columbus, Ohio. He played in the Arizona Fall League with the Phoenix team also in 1997. In 1998 he made it out of the bush leagues to the big league; he was the only rookie on the Yankees' opening day roster. On February 18, 1999 Homer was part of a Yankee-Toronto Blue Jays trade that sent Yankee pitcher David Wells to Toronto and Blue Jay pitcher Roger Clemens to New York. In 1999 Homer became Toronto's everyday secondbaseman. He has a less-than-powerful arm but he has good range and hands, and Homer turns the double-play pivot well. Offensively he hasn't got much power but he is a base-stealing threat. In four Major League seasons he has a .289 batting average, with 7 homeruns and 47 stolen bases (he's been caught stealing 15 times.)

(Between 1948 and 1951 the mayor of the City of Warsaw, Indiana was Charles Homer "Bush" Rice. His tenure as mayor was notable for the installation of parking meters in downtown Warsaw. Mayor Bush Rice eventually retired to California where he died of cardiac arrest on a golf course.)

The Presidents

George Herbert Walker Bush (1924-     )

George Herbert was the 41st President of the United States (1989-1993). He was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts. George Herbert played baseball at the Greenwich Country Day School in Connecticut. At Yale University he was, like his father Prescott before him, a member of the Yale baseball team, known as the Bulldogs. George Herbert played for three years at Yale. Yale played in the 1947 and 1948 College World Series (Yale lost the final game both years.) In 1948 George Herbert was captain of the team. He was also known as "Poppy" among his teammates. George Herbert throws with his left hand and bats from the right side of the plate. He was Yale's firstbaseman and he played the game with distinction. As President George Herbert attended 10 Major League games, six of them in Baltimore. (Herbert Walker, George Herbert's uncle was one of the original owners of the New York Mets.)

George Walker Bush (1946-     )

Young George Walker Bush
George Walker is the 43rd President of the United States and the eldest son of George Herbert Bush, the 41st President. George Walker was born on July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut. As a child it has been reported that George Walker had an "awesome baseball card collection" (Reference: Associated Press report by Nancy Benac, 11/5/2000.) He played baseball in high school at Andover Academy and apparently was the "High Commissioner" of the school's unofficial Stickball League. George Walker played freshmen baseball at Yale but did not, like his father and grandfather, play on the varsity squad. He graduated Yale in 1968. A little more then twenty years later on April 21, 1989 George Walker and several investment partners bought the Texas Rangers baseball team from Bush family friend Eddie Chiles. The sale price of the American League team was US$85 million. George Walker invested about $600,000 of his own money and was named the team's chief executive. He could frequently be seen at Ranger games sitting in the owner's box eating peanuts and watching the game. His most notorious action as head of the Texas Rangers occurred in 1989 when he traded 20-year old prospect Sammy Sosa to the Chicago Cubs for veteran Harold Baines. (Sosa would go on to become famous for his homerun hitting talents.) Ten years after the original purchase of the Rangers, George Walker and his partners sold the team for US$250 million. George Walker's personal take was nearly US$15 million. Most of the team's appreciation in value came from the newly built stadium called The Ballpark at Arlington and the surrounding real estate. The method employed by the teams' owners to purchase the valuable land around The Ballpark has been brought into question; the issue continues to be litigated in Texas courts. George Walker's involvement in the Rangers and the fantastic profit he derived from his ownership has raised a number of eyebrows because much of The Ballpark and the land acquisitions were financed by taxpayer money. Some have ridiculed George Walker for participating in "crony capitalism" and for the improper use of tax dollars for personal gain. Others point out that the high visibility he achieved as a Texas Rangers owner helped him in his political career. He was elected to be the 46th Governor of Texas in 1994 and won a second term in November 1998. When asked once by an interviewer who he thought was a better baseball icon Ted Williams or Joe DiMaggio, George Walker replied, "They were both great." During his 2000 campaign for the presidency George Walker's internet campaign website had a section designed for young people called "Running for President is a Lot Like Playing Baseball."

(Parenthetically, George Walker Bush defeated Albert Gore in the controversial general election of 2000. There is only one example of a player named "Gore" in the history of the Major Leagues. George F. Gore also known as "Piano Legs" was born in on May 3, 1857 in Saccarappa, Maine. He made his Major League debut on May 1, 1879 with the Chicago Cubs. "Piano Legs" Gore played 14 seasons and had a career batting average of .301 and 46 career homeruns.George F. Gore passed away on September16, 1933 in Utica, New York.)

Babe Ruth & George Herbert Bush, 1948
Bushes and the Babe

On May 25, 1935 while pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game against the Boston Braves at Forbes Field, Guy Bush threw the pitch that Babe Ruth hit for his last Major League homerun. In 1948 George Herbert Bush, Yale baseball team captain and future 41st President of the United States accepted on behalf of Yale University, an autographed copy of The Babe Ruth Story from Babe Ruth himself.

Copyright © 2001 by the Cosmic Baseball Research Alliance

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The Bushes of Baseball
URL: http://www.cosmicbaseball.com/bushball.html
Published: January 20, 2001
Copyright © 2001 by the Cosmic Baseball Association
email: editor@cosmicbaseball.com