Halls of Fame are always tied to heroic deeds. But this one will be presidential.
The National College Baseball Hall of Fame announced Thursday that its new facility will be named after former President George H.W. Bush, who played on two College World Series teams at Yale.
The new facility, based in Lubbock, Texas, and scheduled to have a groundbreaking in June 2014, will be named the George H.W. Bush National College Baseball Hall of Fame, and it will honor several generations' worth of stars who played the national pastime while in college.
"The college game's history, our country and the countless people who love baseball everywhere deserve this," said Jana Howser, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame's executive vice president of development. "We are thrilled that our sights are now set."
Bush, who served as a congressman, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and vice president before becoming the 41st president of the United States, was a first baseman and captain for the Yale team that played in the first two editions of the College World Series in 1947 and '48.
"To say I am pleased is an understatement," said President Bush of the honor as part of a story at CollegeBaseballHall.org. "While my baseball days at Yale hardly measure up to the likes of my boyhood idol Lou Gehrig, or Hall of Famers like Jackie Robinson or Dave Winfield, I genuinely love the game and am so very grateful for this honor -- undeserved though it may be."
The National College Baseball Hall of Fame was founded as a non-profit organization in 2004, and it heralded its first class of inductees in '06. There is an ongoing capital campaign to raise $14 million to create an endowment and construct the new College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock.
Seven new members -- Roy Smalley, Tino Martinez, Sal Bando, Ralph Garr, Don Schaly, John Winkin and Tom Borland -- were inducted to the College Hall of Fame in June. The National College Baseball Hall of Fame annually presents numerous awards to college players, coaches and umpires.
Mike Gustafson, president and chief executive officer of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, said that the organization is excited to be able to name its new facility after President Bush.
"We are thrilled to be able honor a great man who has direct ties to college baseball in this way," said Gustafson as part of a story on CollegeBaseballHall.org.
"We have dreamed of making this facility a reality for several years, and to see it finally happen is a testament to the support we have received from baseball fans in Lubbock, across the state of Texas and across the nation. ... We are honored to be entrusted with helping to preserve and showcase the history of the game we all love, and this building is the next step in that effort."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com.