President George W. Bush Attends Little League Southwestern Regional Championship
Also in attendance were First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State
“I particularly want to say to the coaches of both teams, thanks for setting such a good example, thanks for taking time out of your lives to help these young men understand the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship and hard work,” President Bush said in his pre-game remarks. “To the families who are here, thank you very much for supporting your Little Leaguer. Thanks for taking time out of your life to set such a good example for them and show them the love and compassion that is necessary. And to the players, congratulations to you. You've worked hard to get here. Laura and I and Condi are looking forward to seeing a great game. We wish you all the very best.”
A complete transcript of President Bush’s remarks, as well as a downloadable audio file of his remarks, can be found at the White House web site.
President Bush played Little League Baseball in Midland, Texas, in the 1950s, and his team was the Cubs. He became the first sitting president to visit the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa., when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the world championship game on Aug. 26, 2001. At tonight’s game, he became the first President to visit a Little League Regional Tournament. The game was televised live on ESPN.
“Little League is tremendously pleased that President Bush, Mrs. Bush and Sec. Rice were able to join us for this celebration of youth,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “As the first Little Leaguer to become President of the United States, President Bush knows first-hand the benefits that Little League provides every day to millions of children around the world. This recognition of the tens of thousands of volunteers of the seven states of Little League’s Southwest Region is an exceptional honor.”
The Little League Southwestern Regional Tournament is one of 16 regional tournaments worldwide in Little League’s division for 11-12-year-old players. The winner of each regional tournament advances to the Little League Baseball World Series. Complete details about the championship game can be found here.
The Southwestern Regional Tournament consisted of the state champions from six states, as well as the East Texas and West Texas champions. The teams competing for a berth in the Little League Baseball World Series were from: Bryant (Ark.) Athletic Little League; Academy Little League of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Lafayette (La.) Little League; Biloxi (Miss.) Little League; Eastdale Little League of Albuquerque, N.M.; Tulsa (Okla.) National Little League; Washington County (Texas) Little League; and Del Mar Little League of Laredo, Texas.
Attending the event from the Little League International Board of Directors were: Tim Hughes of Williamsport, Pa. (chairman); Dennis Lewin of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. (chairman-elect); and Val Domingue, Jr., of Lafayette, La. (Southwest Region representative). Waco Mayor Virginia Dupuy, longtime Waco-area Little League volunteer Chic Norcross, and Mr. Keener also attended.
Little League International works with the White House during the spring and summer to administer President Bush’s Tee Ball on the South Lawn program. Thirteen Tee Ball on the South Lawn games have been played since President Bush began the initiative in 2001 as a way to increase the popularity of baseball among young families. For more information on the Tee Ball on the South Lawn program, visit www.whitehouse.gov or www.littleleague.org.
Marvin Norcross Stadium, Waco, Texas