ARLINGTON -- White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski called it a light moment in an otherwise quick game. It involved a former President of the United States and a Hall of Famer.
In an otherwise innocuous moment during the Rangers' 4-0 victory on Monday night, Pierzynski drifted over near the owner's box close to the Rangers dugout for a foul popup off the bat of Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning. He reached around the wire netting and tried to snag the ball while in the process almost falling in the lap of former President George W. Bush. Former First Lady Laura Bush was seated next to her husband, and pitching great Nolan Ryan -- the Rangers current team president/CEO -- and his wife, Ruth, were seated in the front row as well.
Pierzynski said after the two-hour, five-minute game that he knew the former president was seated there. But Pierzynski also knew he had a chance to catch the ball, so he reached around the wire netting. The ball bounced off a metal drink counter in front of Bush and Co.
"I realized that I almost jumped in the former president's lap," Pierzynski said. "It was funny. I had Nolan Ryan and George Bush sitting within five feet of each other. I at least had a good landing spot if I went all the way over the wall."Television replays showed Pierzynski and Bush exchanged what looked like a light-hearted moment.
"I just told him just because he was the president doesn't mean I won't jump on top of him," Pierzynski said. "He and his wife got a good chuckle out of that one."
Replays showed the former president asking Pierzynski if he was OK. The White Sox catcher said afterward that he got his thumb caught in the wire netting.
"He was like, 'Are you OK?' Pierzynski said. "And I was like, 'You'll have to watch out. Just because you were the president doesn't mean I won't jump on top of you now.'"
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.