Topps Baseball Card Memorializes Bush's World Series Pitch After 9/11

Thursday, 14 Jul 2011 09:46 AM

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Baseball card goliath Topps is putting out a card worth collecting for history: an officially autographed depiction of former President George W. Bush throwing the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series in October 2001. The card is intended to salute the president’s courage in appearing on the mound at Yankee Stadium in New York City during the tense time following the terrorist strikes that killed 3,000 on 9/11.

Bush, baseball card, topps
Then-Yankees manager Joe Torre said of President George W. Bush's performance: "He wanted us right from the get-go to do what we need to do, to live as normal a life as we can. And with everything . . . that's been going on, he showed a lot of courage and a lot of class."
Bush, who heeded Yankees star Derek Jeter’s advice before the game not to bounce the ball or he would be booed, thus becomes the first former president to provide an official signature on a Topps card, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Top of the Ticket blog. Topps has released cards honoring President Barack Obama, the blog reports.

“Our 2011 Allen & Ginter product will continue Topps’ historic tradition of chronicling heroes both on and off the playing field,” Topps Vice President Mark Sapir said.

Some bloggers are whining that the card is in bad taste, making money from outrageous terrorism attacks, even as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches.

“In a post titled ‘9/11 Hero George W. Bush Shilling Autographed 9/11 Baseball Cards,’ Wonkette blogger Kirsten Boyd Johnson writes, ‘It is good to see that in these hard economic times, it is still possible to make a '9/11 memories' buck,’ ” the Top of the Ticket reports.

She must have historical amnesia about the reason Bush took to the mound, and the impact it had in reassuring people that life must go on, despite al-Qaida’s murderous attack.

"I think the president being here put his money where his mouth is," then-Yankee manager Joe Torre told reporters after the game, Top of the Ticket reports. "He wanted us right from the get-go to do what we need to do, to live as normal a life as we can. And with everything . . . that's been going on, he showed a lot of courage and a lot of class."

He did it with a fair amount of accuracy — and without bouncing the ball — as this video recounts about the moment, as well as the mood of those times:


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