AMERICAN MOSAIC #813 - T-Ball at the White HouseBy George Grow
President Bush has always loved the game of baseball. Mr. Bush says that when he was a boy he wanted to grow up to be a baseball player.
Recently, the President announced an effort designed to help America's national sport. Starting this spring, part of the White House grounds will be opened for T-ball, a children's kind of baseball. Shep O'Neal has more.
T-ball is a game played by children between the ages of five and eight.Unlike baseball, there is no pitcher to throw the ball. Instead, the ball is placed on a stick usually made of strong plastic. A child uses a bat to swing at the ball. No one cares if a child swings and misses. The goal is to let young children learn to play the game of baseball.
T-ball games at the White House will take place each month during the baseball season for the next four years. Hundreds of Washington area boys and girls will have a chance to play T-ball on the White House South Lawn. They will play in an area where the presidential helicopter sometimes lands.
White House officials plan to change the South Lawn from an open, grassy space into a baseball field. They will set up seats so people can watch the games.
A newly-created White House office will supervise the T-ball program.A spokesman for the President says the program will make an effort to include children from poor families.
Mr. Bush announced the plan at a gathering of famous former baseball players. He described his plan as a small way to protect what he calls the best of baseball. The President spoke about the first baseball game he ever attended.
As a boy, Mr. Bush played on Little League baseball teams.Later, he played baseball at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. His father, former President George Bush, also played baseball at Yale.
Before entering government, George W. Bush was one of the owners of the Texas Rangers baseball team. In Nineteen-Eighty-Nine, Mr. Bush invested six-hundred-thousand dollars with the Rangers. He sold his interest in the team before becoming governor of Texas. By that time, his investment had earned fifteen-million dollars.
Mr. Bush has written about how baseball influenced his life.He said the game taught him to develop a strong resistance against critics.He said it also taught him to rise above minor problems and work instead on long-term goals.