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06/18/09 8:01 PM ET

Owner's suite named for Bush unveiled

Rangers welcome back nation's 43rd president in ceremony

ARLINGTON -- George W. Bush doesn't own the Rangers anymore, but the 43rd president of the United States has a share of the owner's suite at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

On Thursday, the Rangers unveiled the new name for the owner's suite: the "President George W. Bush Owner's Suite."

"I've looked this up, and in the 133-year history of Major League Baseball, never has a president been an owner except President Bush," Rangers owner Tom Hicks said. "I'm glad he's home and can reconnect with this place. We thought it would be fitting to have the suite named after him."

Bush was managing general partner of the Rangers from 1989-94 until he was elected governor of Texas.

"I was actually thinking of my time in baseball driving up here on the turnpike," Bush said. "Baseball is a great sport, and the Rangers are a great organization. Tom is a wonderful owner and has built this team up, hopefully guiding it to an American League pennant."

Hicks gave Bush a personalized jersey with the number 43 and Bush on the back. He also extended an invitation to Bush to visit the suite any time he desires.

"I'm thrilled to accept it," Bush said. "I used to [sit in the crowd during the game], but my life changed in January 2001. I have a little less anonymity now."

This was the first appearance for Bush since he threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Rangers' home opener on April 6 of this season. Before that, he hadn't visited the stadium since 2000, when he was governor of Texas.

Daniel Paulling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.