George W. Bush was among the gift-givers Wednesday in the latest stop on Derek Jeter’s farewell tourin Arlington, Texas (Star-Ledger, July 30). The former president gave the Yankees shortstop a framed picture of the two taken Oct. 30, 2001, before Game 3 of the World Series.
Before Bush took the Yankee Stadium mound for the first pitch in ’01, Jeter told him “Don’t bounce it, or they’ll boo you,” and suggested the president should throw from in front of the mound. Instead, Bush stepped on the rubber and made an accurate throw to catcher Todd Greene, touching off an emotional ovation from fans six weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Among the Rangers’ other gifts was a custom-made pair of cowboy boots presented by former Texas catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Jeter had much success in Arlington in his 20-year career, hitting .329 with 40 RBI. That’s his third-most RBI in parks outside the American League East.