ARLINGTON, Texas -- Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski reached into the stands to try to catch a foul ball – and found himself face-to-face with former President George W. Bush.
Pierzynski was going for a foul pop near the Texas Rangers dugout in the sixth inning Monday night. The ball dropped into the owner's box where Bush and his wife, Laura, sat with team president Nolan Ryan, whose wife, Ruth, had her hands over her head protecting herself. The ball didn't hit anyone.
The former president smiled while making a comment to Pierzynski, who lingered for a lighthearted exchange when he realized who was talking to him after the play.
"I told him just 'cause he was the president doesn't mean I wouldn't jump on top of him," Pierzynski said after the game. "He and his wife got a good chuckle out of it. It was a light moment in an otherwise quick game."
When the ball came off the bat of Adrian Beltre, Pierzynski felt had an opportunity to make a play.
"Obviously, I knew (the former president) was there," Pierzynski said. "When I saw the ball go up, I actually thought I had a chance to catch it. I was going to reach around. I needed about another foot and then I realized I almost jumped in the president's lap. It was funny. I had Nolan Ryan and George W. Bush sitting within 5 feet of each other."
Bush lives in the Dallas area and attends several Rangers games each season.