George W. Bush’s love for baseball remains strong

Former President George W. Bush caught a ball tossed up by a fan (for an autograph) after he visited the radio broadcast booths during a 2009 game. Broadcaster Tom Grieve was on the left.
Former President George W. Bush caught a ball tossed up by a fan (for an autograph) after he visited the radio broadcast booths during a 2009 game. Broadcaster Tom Grieve was on the left. Star-Telegram

When George W. Bush served as Texas’ governor, autographed baseballs lined the walls of his Capitol office.

Now his link to the sport — particularly to the Texas Rangers, where he was managing general partner before taking office — will make up an exhibit at his presidential library.

On March 21, “Baseball: America’s Presidents, America’s Pastime” will open to the public at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

Sign of the Devil?

There is no connection between the Devil and crude oil exports.

Even so, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, didn’t want the number 666 — described as the “number of the beast” in the Bible — connected to his legislative proposal.

“We decided it was best to change it so people will focus on the content of the legislation, not the bill number,” Barton spokesman Sean Brown told the media.

Barton recently requested a change in bill number and swapped 666 for 702 for his bill geared to repeal a ban on crude oil exports.

Aggie love

Texas’ own Roland Martin, a media figure and commentator (and former Star-Telegram colleague) was an emcee for the Republican National Committee’s Black Republican Trailblazer Award Luncheon last week in Washington.

Among the African-Americans being honored during Black History Month were newly elected Reps. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, and Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah as well as recently deceased Sen. Edward Brooke III, R-Mass., the first popularly elected black U.S. senator.

But it was Martin who revved things up, according to Roll Call, a news outlet that covers Capitol Hill. The DJ for the event at the Howard Theater selected songs targeted for the headliners’ entrances and exits, but Martin did not like the selection for Hurd’s departure: Coldplay’s “Clocks.”

“A fellow Aggie, Martin held up his smartphone and played Hurd off with the Texas A&M fight song,” reported the “Heard on the Hill” column.

Overseas trip

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, made a quick trip to Cuba in December as part of a Congressional Delegation (CODEL,) arriving back in the U.S. just as President Obama announced normalization of relations with the communist country.

The trip was focused on healthcare and diabetes, said Burgess, a physician. He was the only Republican on the trip, which included Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo. Burgess and DeGette were guests of McClatchy, the parent company of the Star-Telegram, at the Congressional Dinner hosted by the Washington Press Club Foundation Feb. 4.

The two lawmakers, who serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee together, talked with their table mates about their Cuba experiences.

“We both take credit for normalization,” said Burgess in his deadpan manner.

As for the visit to the island, which is proud of its healthcare, Burgess said, “You see what they want you to see.”

“They have complete equality” of access to healthcare, he said, “but it’s at a very low level.”

So, how were the mojitos? Burgess isn’t saying — he typically doesn’t drink alcohol — but maybe the fun-loving Democrats on his trip tried the island libation. In addition to DeGette, those on the trip included Reps. Charlie Rangel of New York, Robin Kelly of Illinois and California’s Barbara Lee and Karen Bass.

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley