Amore: George H.W. Bush honed leadership skills as Yale’s baseball captain

From SABR member Dom Amore at the Hartford Courant on December 3, 2018:

On a cold, drizzly April afternoon — “football weather,” as The Courant described it — UConn arrived at Yale Field to play baseball. About 2,500 showed up — par for a Yale game in New Haven back then.

And in the second inning, the new Yale first baseman, George Bush, stroked a single to left to drive in the first run of the season. Later, he singled again, and then walked to start a game-winning rally in the eighth inning, scoring with some heads-up base-running.

There, on April 13, 1946, George Herbert Walker “Poppy” Bush began his lifelong love of Yale baseball. Arriving on campus in 1945, with the help of the GI Bill, and following his heroic service as a Navy pilot in World War II, Bush beat out a slew of contenders to win the starting first base job, which his father, Prescott Bush, had held down for Yale in 1917.

George Bush held his own with and against future major leaguers. In that first game, the Yale pitcher was Frank Quinn from Hartford, who went on to pitch for the Red Sox. The UConn first baseman was Walt Dropo, who was the AL’s rookie of the year in 1950 after a monster season for Boston.

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Originally published: December 6, 2018. Last Updated: December 6, 2018.