Sunday, December 2, 2018

Farewell, 41

I had another sports card topic in mind for today's post, but I feel compelled to discuss the passing of our 41st President, George H.W. Bush. 

Technically I was born in the waning days of the Carter administration, and grew up in Ronald Reagan's America. But I came of age in the Bush years. The first election I was aware of was the one in which "Poppy" Bush defeated the unfortunately-named Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis.

I can remember watching a little bit of the election with my mom (specifically, the '88 Vote logo on ABC), but my first real memory of world affairs was the Gulf War.

My friends and I were all pre-teen boys at the time, so our political discussion was limited to "Saddam sucks" "Bush rules" and of course "USA! USA!" when the conflict had ended.

I didn't know the difference between a Republican and a Democrat, but I was convinced that Bush was a great president because Iraq was defeated and Kuwait was liberated in about six months. The wars I read about in school took years to finish. 

The next time I paid any attention to President Bush was that often-mocked promise to "Read my lips. No new taxes!" By the end of his term I probably saw Dana Carvey's caricature as much as the man himself. What I didn't know until watching 41 on 41 on CNN last night was that the President invited the comedian to the White House after the 1992 election - to cheer up his staff saddened by the loss to Bill Clinton.

Bush 41 has appeared on a fair amount of sports and non-sports trading cards. He continued the tradition of welcoming championship teams to the White House, extending the invitation to a Stanley Cup winning hockey team for the first time..

..celebrating the 50th anniversary of the summer of '41 with Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio..

..and matching free throws with Michigan's Rumeal Robinson:


There are a handful of baseball cards depicting his years as Yale's team captain, but some of them are incomplete..

That's Babe Ruth congratulating Bush on his team's championship, at Yale Field. The Bushes are proud Texans, so it may come as a surprise to some that our 43rd President, George W. Bush, was born in New Haven during his father's tenure at Yale. 

Technically that means both Presidents Bush qualify for my Connecticut Collection. I'm going to focus on adding more CT cards in the coming year, including some you see in this post.

This is from a set called Historic Autographs POTUS. I came across them on COMC (and bought an Obama single) but I can't find any info about them on TCDB. 

Rest in peace, Mister President.



  1. Great tribute post, Chris. When I heard of his passing I immediately thought of that Mario Lemieux White House card and what a big deal I thought it was as a kid!

  2. Great tribute, and thanks for sharing.


  3. Wonderful tribute post with a nice selection of cards. I wasn't always a fan of his policies but he was a good man who served his country well. As we move forward in time, it appears serving our country isn't part of the Presidential resume. Thank you 41 and Godspeed.

  4. Wow, I never realized there were so many cards of President Bush! Great post! (and Dana Carvey is a national treasure!)

  5. Great tribute post. I'm a big fan of trading cards featuring U.S. Presidents. Had no idea that Papa Bush had so many cards. Normally I wouldn't encourage Topps to make another reprint card... but I'd love to own a copy of the famous 1990 Topps George Bush card.

  6. Great tribute. I also wasn't aware he had so many cards. Again great post.

  7. Nice tribute post. I found the same card of Ruth and Bush a couple days after he passed unintentionally. Nevertheless, it seems fitting.

    While I don't have a large collection of presidential trading cards, I did stumble upon a few cards commemorating the 2008 election shortly after the passing of John McCain. It's in the 1971 Topps design, and I must say it's very well made.