Moving to Dallas has had a number of surprises and one of the biggest surprises that I have encountered is that I would not only be friends with a Yankee fan but be very good friends with a former NY Yankee who actually won a World Series with them and wears his ring just to irritate me.
His name is Homer Bush. He played for NY Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres and Florida Marlins. He hit home runs stole bases and played some great defense.
Here are a few questions I asked Homer over the weekend:
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I am actually a better football player than baseball player. I still hold the Illinois State High School football records for most touchdowns scored in a single season (26) and most receiving yards in a single season (1431). In addition I was named to the All-Century team for Illinois High School Football.
What are the three words you would use to describe Joe Torre? Caring, Responsible, Calm
What was your most memorable experience in baseball? Hitting my first home run in Yankee stadium. The count was 2-0 and Posada and Scott Brosius were on base and I hit a 3 run jack off a knuckleballer from the Anaheim Angels.
Did you end up getting the ball? That’s a funny story. The kid who caught the ball came to the clubhouse and I offered him a Bernie Williams or Derek Jeter bat. He said no he wanted one of my bats! Yes I was surprised and actually gave him all three bats.
Who was your favorite ballplayer you played with? Tim Raines. He was amazing. We really hung out a lot and he taught me so much. How to always be prepared for the game, things to work on and treated everyone like they were his best friend.
You were fast and stole a lot of bases, who influenced you the most? Maury Wills was a coach of mine in Toronto and he taught me so much. He focused on being aggressive, confident and really refined my skills.
Best prank you ever played? I wasn’t a real prankster but I can remember one night I was in the minors and it was about 2:00am and I was with 3 of my team mates and we saw some flowers outside a Winn Dixie and decided to take them without paying. Well within 20 seconds there were 5 police cars around us. Thankfully we told them it was a prank and they were really nice and let us go. If not we may have all gotten suspended or kicked off the team and lost of all our bonus money.
Were there any pitchers that you really loved to hit against? Against there were two. James Baldwin for some reason I always hit him well and you will love this one Merrill, Pedro Martinez. I think I got 6 hits in my first 10 at bats against Pedro and liked hitting against him until one day he threw a ball at my head and luckily I got out of the way and he hit me in the hand. Needless to say I wasn’t comfortable anymore against Pedro.
What are you doing now? I have started a real estate investment company and also giving local kids batting lessons.
Homer is mentioned periodically in a book entitled "The Right Kind Of Heroes" written by Kevin Horrigan. The book details Coach Bob Shannon and the remarkable success of the East St. Louis Flyers football program in 1989 and 1990. Throughout the book, Bush is referenced as the team’s "go to" player, as well as a likeable person. In addition Homer was listed on the "All Nice Guy" team for all of Major League Baseball by Ken Davidoff in 2008.
Based on my personal experience he is a VERY nice guy and would be happy to answer any questions you have.
So now your turn
- What do you want to ask Homer about baseball?
- Do you want to know how fast he was?
- What round he was drafted?
- How much was his sign on bonus?
- Did he enjoy playing baseball in Australia?
- Who influenced his career?
- How many siblings does he have?
We look forward to hearing from you.
PS – Homer is a special person who has a million dollar smile and heart! He loves to be around people and makes everyone feel that they are important from the second he meets them!