World Series 2023: Former President George W. Bush to throw out first pitch before Game 1

The former U.S. president threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium, which also featured the Diamondbacks. (Photo by Chuck Solomon/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Former U.S. President George W. Bush will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.

Bush, the U.S. president between 2001 and 2009, was part of a group that purchased the Rangers in 1989. He resigned as managing partner following his election as Texas governor in 1994.

According to the Associated Press, Bush has participated in four World Series ceremonial first pitches, but Friday's at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, will be his first before an opener.

Bush's most famous first pitch came before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series between the Diamondbacks and New York Yankees.

Weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Bush traveled to Yankee Stadium and wore an FDNY sweater over a bullet-proof vest while delivering the pitch to Yankees pitcher and fellow Texan Roger Clemens.

From the AP:

As Bush warmed up beneath the stands of old Yankee Stadium, the Yankees' Derek Jeter told him, "Don't bounce it, they will boo you," Bush later recalled.

The Diamondbacks, who won that World Series in seven games in only their fourth season in existence, had won only two playoff series since that playoff run before the 2023 season.

Hall of Famer and former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez will be behind the plate Friday to catch Bush's pitch.

Zac Gallen will start for the Diamondbacks, while the Rangers will go with Nathan Eovaldi for Game 1.