06/21/08 6:47 PM ET
Rangers visit Bush at White House
President owned ballclub for five years starting in 1989
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Frank Catalanotto thought it was great that his 9-year-old daughter Morgan was able to meet the President of the United States in the Oval Office."That was pretty special," Catalanotto said. "They're learning about the President in school and all her friends were excited." David Murphy was impressed that President Bush knew who he was. "I stuck out my hand and said, 'I'm David Murphy,'" he said. "The President said, 'Oh, yeah, Baylor boy...' That was pretty cool that he knew me." Everybody had their favorite moments when the Rangers went as a team to the White House on Saturday to meet with President Bush. Seventeen players went along with manager Ron Washington, members of his staff and some front office personnel. Club president Nolan Ryan was also there. The two presidents go back many years to when Bush owned the Rangers and Ryan pitched for him. Bush, when he was Governor of Texas, later appointed Ryan to a six-year term as a commissioner for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. "I thought it was an outstanding visit," Washington said. "This was my second visit, but the first to hear the President talk, meet him, go into the Oval Office, hear about the rug on the floor. ... "He's a total baseball guy. He knows everything, but I guess as President, you're supposed to know everything. Most impressive was how normal and natural he was." Many of the Rangers were able to take their families with them for the visit. "I really don't follow that stuff, but my wife and kids enjoyed it," Eddie Guardado said. "They had a good time. President Bush gave my little girl a souvenir, something with the White House on it. I was more amazed at the security more than anything." "It was great," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "You get to meet the President. ... It's the White House, there's not much else you can say." For C.J. Wilson, it was a chance to meet the President while sporting his new Mohawk haircut. "How many people with a Mohawk haircut have stood in the Oval Office and shook hands with the President?" Wilson said. "Not many, I bet."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.