Former President George W. Bush will toss out the ceremonial first pitch during the Texas Rangers Opening Day game against the Cleveland Indians next Monday.
Bush was the managing general partner of the ballclub from 1989-1994. The group sold the team to current owner Tom Hicks in 1998. Hicks and club president Nolan Ryan extended the offer to Bush earlier this spring.
Monday's trip to the mound is far from the first for Bush. He also tossed out the first pitch at the ballpark on April 3, 2000, as the Governor of Texas. While president, Bush tossed the first pitch in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Washington and, most famously, prior to Game 3 of the 2001 World Series between the Yankees and Diamondbacks.
Monday's appearance marks Bush's first return to the ballpark since 2000 -- but he is the third president to toss the opening day pitch for the Rangers. Gerald Ford took the mound in 1976 and George H.W. Bush did the same in 1991.
The team is also planning to honor "Texas Heroes" for the 23rd consecutive year. The United States Army 4th Infantry Division Band from Fort Hood will perform during the pre-game ceremonies and will also play the Star Spangled Banner. A 100 by 300 foot American flag, carried by members of Fort Hood’s 4th Infantry Division, will be unfurled in the outfield, and a military flyover will take place.
Obstructed view and standing room only tickets remain for the home opener. All other reserved seats have been sold.