Amidst a snow blizzard on Feb. 26 (and after nearly not
making it back to New York from Tampa the night before), I attended the Long
Island Association’s annual luncheon, where the guest speakers were George H.W.
Bush and George W. Bush.
I had previously interviewed the younger President Bush in
November 2008 for my second book, The
Final Season: The Official Retrospective. And I received a letter from the
older President Bush, in which he provided me with a lengthy quote about his
son’s 2001 first pitch for my first book, Yankee
Stadium: The Official Retrospective.
When I approached the two presidents last Friday, I
introduced myself to George W. Bush the same way I did in 2008. “Good morning
Mr. President. Al Santasiere, New York Yankees.”
The President said through a laugh, “What position do you
I quickly informed Bush that I had written two books about
Yankee Stadium, and that he and his father contributed their words to the
respective publications. Bush’s response provided me with a tremendous thrill.
“I know your book,” he said. “You sent it to me.”
The former President then reminded his father that Yankee Stadium: The Official Retrospective
features a photo of him throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 3
of the 2001 World Series.
The younger President Bush’s acknowledgement of my work
meant the world to me. It served as a final validation for projects that I
worked on for nearly three years.
When I spoke with the older President Bush, he asked me to
pass his regards on to George Steinbrenner.
“Please let him know that I am thinking about him,” the 41st
–Alfred Santasiere III