Amazing Video When Kalamazoo Hosted Pres. Bush & First College World Series
It's a story that many long-time Kalamazoo residents may have heard, especially if they followed the local baseball scene in their youth; future President of the United States George Herbert Walker Bush played on the Yale University baseball team that made it to the College World Series in both 1947 and 1948. In fact those first two College World Series were played at Hyames Field next to Waldo Stadium.
And there's also film from that first College World Series, and Yale team captain Bush is featured in it. Though he was 0-3 that day, he did draw two walks. California beat Yale 8-7 that day, Cal swept the best of three series 2-0, and the following year Yale lost to Southern Cal two games to one.
(Marc Parrish via YouTube)
As the video starts there's a shot of a banner draped across Michigan Ave, and in the background is the former Sears store that was at the intersection of Michigan and Portage Road. That Haymarket Building has had several tenants over the years, and most recently has been the home of the Wine Loft on the main floor.
Then there's a panoramic shot of Waldo Stadium, which doesn't look all that different, then finally to Hyames Field at Western Michigan College. (the was the school's name back then.
Bush Not The Only Future Famous Person in Kalamazoo That Day
A couple of footnotes. You see Major League Baseball commissioner A.B. "Happy" Chandler at the opening ceremonies. This series was only two months after Jackie Robinson broke MLB's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
On the California team was future major-leaguer Jackie Jensen. Jensen was a two-sport star at Cal, playing both football and baseball and his pitching led the Bears to the title. He played 11 seasons in the big leagues, with the New York Yankees, Washington Senators and Boston Red Sox. Bush, obviously, chose a career in public service and politics.