PRESS RELEASE – The board of trustees of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame is thrilled to announce the name of the facility to be built in Lubbock, Texas: the George H.W. Bush National College Baseball Hall of Fame.
“As our capital campaign continues to gain momentum, we felt it was important to move ahead with this piece of our future,” said Mike Gustafson, president and chief executive officer of the Hall of Fame. “We are thrilled to be able honor a great man who has direct ties to college baseball in this way.”
The building will be named after Bush, who, many years before serving as the 41st President of the United States, played college baseball at Yale University. An able first baseman and team captain, Bush played in the first two College World Series in 1947 and 1948. In 1948, Bush’s Bulldogs met the USC Trojans and National College Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Dedeaux.
“With President Bush’s ties to college baseball and the College World Series, this was a natural fit for us,” Gustafson said.
Bush said he is honored the National College Baseball Hall of Fame will bear his name.
“To say I am pleased is an understatement,” President Bush said. “While my baseball days at Yale hardly measure up to the likes of my boyhood idol Lou Gehrig, or Hall of Famers like Jackie Robinson or Dave Winfield, I genuinely love the game and am so very grateful for this honor — undeserved though it may be.”
Construction on the facility is scheduled to begin in late June, with a ground-breaking event planned to coincide with the Hall of Fame’s annual Night of Champions event on June 28, 2014.
“We have dreamed of making this facility a reality for several years, and to see it finally happen is a testament to the support we have received from baseball fans in Lubbock, across the state of Texas and across the nation,” Gustafson said. “We are honored to be entrusted with helping to preserve and showcase the history of the game we all love, and this building is the next step in that effort.”
The National College Baseball Hall of Fame, based in Lubbock, Texas, is a non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing and preserving the history of college baseball. In addition to the annual induction of the Hall of Fame class, the organization presents numerous awards to current college baseball players, coaches and umpires, including the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award and the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, during its annual Night of Champions event. The organization was founded in 2004, and the first Hall of Fame class was inducted in 2006. Currently, a capital campaign is underway to raise the $13 million needed to construct the National College Baseball Hall of Fame building and create an endowment.