The Pitch

“He didn’t have to talk about it, because he threw a strike.” – Derek Jeter.

President George W. Bush stood on the mound at Yankee Stadium on October 30, 2001, before Game 3 of the World Series, anxious. The ball was heavy in his hand. “Standing on the mound at Yankee Stadium was by far the most nervous moment of my presidency,” he says in the new 30 for 30 short First Pitch. On a hazy morning in early September this year, he sat in his spacious office in Dallas with his feet on his desk and said it again. “It’s the one in which I was most nervous.”

As president, he would govern a nation divided by a disputed election. He would sit in front of a room of schoolchildren and hear an aide whisper in his ear that buildings were burning as terrorists mounted a massive attack. He would go to war in Afghanistan; he would go to war with Iraq. A natural disaster that hit New Orleans would become a domestic catastrophe. An economic crisis would grip the nation. And he would hear, every morning, a report of the ways in which the country was in danger. The threats were real. “I got to see them,” he reminded me. “You didn’t.”


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