Bush Library Plays Ball with New Exhibit

The George Bush Presidential Library is inviting baseball fans to be a part of its newest exhibit.

The "Born to Play Ball" displays got the presidential seal of approval Monday, as Former President Bush helped cut the ribbon on the exhibit. Among the dignitaries on hand for the big event were Jeff Bagwell, Bob Costas, Drayton McLane, Tommy Lasorda and Joe Morgan.

A leadership forum was held immediately following the ribbon cutting featuring the big names of baseball in attendance.

Read more about the exhibit further down on this story.

Bagwell starred for years as a member of the Houston Astros, and currently works in the club's front office. McLane is the owner of the team.

Costas is an NBC and HBO sportscaster who has won multiple Emmy awards for his work. He has headed up coverage of seemingly every major sporting event, most notably the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Morgan was his broadcast partner for baseball coverage for a number of years. Currently, the former Cincinnati Reds second baseball is the lead baseball color commentator for ESPN.

Lasorda managed the Los Angeles Dodgers for many years, and played for the team while it was based in Brooklyn. He currently serves as a vice president.

The following is a press release from the George Bush Library concerning its new baseball exhibit:

Who was better? Babe Ruth or Willie Mays, Honus Wagner or Alex Rodriguez, Walter Johnson or Sandy Koufax? Could Ty Cobb put up the same gaudy statistics in today's game? Would Barry Bonds put up even greater home run totals had he played against 1920s' pitching? Baseball historians and fans of our national pastime love to argue such points. Some have developed elaborate tables of statistics in an attempt to measure the careers of players from different eras, yet many would take exception to these tables or any historian's conclusions attempt to rank players. What every fan of the game does agree upon is that baseball loves a good argument.

This exhibit will spark more of the same debate, which is why this display was created - to get baseball fans talking about what players might make their all-time list. No opinion can be wrong, and each list will have its own merits.

At the core of Born to Play Ball is a list of fifty great players, five at every position, including groups for right- and left-handed pitchers, with honorable mentions at every spot. Nearly every name has a plaque in Cooperstown's National Baseball Hall of Fame - the other players probably will be inducted into the shrine some day. The players, from all eras after 1900, were selected for a number of reasons: batting statistics, defense and other accomplishments. Yet baseball is much more than a career batting average, earned run average or wins. Some players changed the game, while others showed a brilliance for a brief time. Not every member of the 500 home run or 300 win clubs is included. Some players have been banned from the game. Others are accused of using steroids or human growth hormones.

Born to Play Ball represents a love of the game by many of its fans and historians; many of their opinions are reflected in the players who are included. The original working title for the exhibit was Let the Debate Begin. It is hoped that everyone who sees Born to Play Ball will compile their own list of all-time greats, and have fun doing so.


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