Mubarak Becomes a Fan--but Bush Gets a Bad Call

Times Staff Writer

“High and outside?”

The captain of the Yale University baseball team in 1947 and 1948 and now President of the United States was indignant, to say the least, at the suggestion that he would throw anything less than a perfect pitch.

Especially with his guest, the president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, looking on--along with 52,161 or so more experienced baseball fans.

Ted Williams, the former Boston Red Sox slugger, had a more diplomatic way of putting it. Mimicking a broadcast interviewer, Bush asked Williams: “What do you think, sir?”


Williams, taken aback at first, recovered enough to reply: “High, hard fastball.”

With such banter, Bush introduced Mubarak to the great American pastime Monday, escorting him to see the Baltimore Orioles play the Boston Red Sox in the American League season opener in Memorial Stadium here. Bush threw the traditional first pitch to Orioles catcher Mickey Tettleton.

Baltimore won the game 5-4 in a four-hour, 11-inning marathon. But by then the VIP guests were long gone; they had stayed only to the top of the fifth.

To prepare Mubarak for the game, the State Department wrote a special briefing paper explaining the rudiments of the sport. The Egyptian leader declared the sport of baseball “very interesting.”

Refering to Bush, at his side, he added: “Very good teacher, of course. He was captain of the biggest team in the United States.”

“That’s what I told him,” Bush chimed in.