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Sport Sections
Wednesday, November 1
A sporting blueblood

Even before buying a chunk of the Texas Rangers, George W. Bush had roots that ran wide and deep in the world of sports:

George Bush
When it came to sports, George W. Bush was the best-connected Little Leaguer in Midland, Texas.

  • The Walker Cup, the prestigious international golf tournament, is named after George H. Walker, the great-grandfather of George W. Bush and president of the U.S. Golf Association in 1920. The biennial competition matches amateur men's teams from the United States and the British Isles.

  • According to family legend, another great-grandfather, Samuel P. Bush, helped found the Ohio State University football program, which adopted the same name (Buckeye) as Bush's Columbus-based steel company. An Ohio State spokesman could confirm to ESPN.com only that Bush was a "volunteer assistant coach" in 1892, two years after a varsity squad was formed.

  • George W. Bush's uncle, Wall Street financier Herbert Walker, was one of the original owners of the New York Mets. In fact, George's dream of owning a baseball team was sparked when as a boy he attended games at Shea Stadium, where he sat in Uncle Herbie's box seats.

  • Bush's family, through the Walker side, was also responsible for the financing or overseeing and creation of Madison Square Garden and Belmont Park, two of the most famed venues in sports.

  • Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, and grandfather Sen. Prescott Bush played baseball for Yale and George W. also played briefly, with the freshman team.

  • Prescott Bush was president of the U.S. Golf Association in 1935, after serving as vice president in 1933 and '34.

  • George W. and Calvin Hill, the former Dallas Cowboys running back, were fraternity brothers together at Yale. Bush was president of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), which was known as a jock house.

  • Don Schollander, the swimmer who won Olympic medals in 1964 and '68, was tapped with Bush into the elite, secretive Skull & Bones society at Yale. They were also fraternity brothers in DKE.

  • For nine months in 1973, between Yale undergrad and Harvard Business School, Bush worked for former NFL players John White and Ernie "Big Cat" Ladd. They ran the Professional United Leadership League, an inner-city Houston program that tried to get famous athletes to interact with troubled youth. The organization was chaired by George's father, who arranged the job for his son.

  • Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley and legendary football coach Bud Wilkinson were contributors to Bush's first campaign, a failed bid for a congressional seat in West Texas in 1978.

  • George W. graduated from the same prep school, Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., as Bartlett Giammati, the future Major League Baseball commissioner.

  • Fay Vincent, who succeeded Giammati as baseball commissioner, is a longtime Bush family friend who even spent a summer at George W.'s boyhood home in Midland, Texas, in the 1950s.

    And finally, in perhaps the most foretelling event in an adult life that would combine sports and consensus-building politics ...

  • Bush was "high commissioner" of the stickball league at Phillips Academy, where each dormitory had a team and colorful uniforms.

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