The One Percent Win Again (This Time In Baseball)
What the book neglected to mention (sorry!) was that DeWitt had become the owner of the Cardinals. DeWitt led an investor group that bought the Cardinals in 1995. When Bush became president, he appointed DeWitt, who publicly at least has no intelligence background, as a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Do with that what you will…. These guys enjoy baseball like the rest of us. But make no mistake: they understand the crucial role of “bread and circuses” in keeping the public eye off the trough. Again, from Family of Secrets:
For about eighty-six million dollars, Bush and seventy investors bought the team. Among the investors were William O. DeWitt Jr. and Mercer Reynolds III, the fellows who had bailed out W.’s Arbusto Energy. This new deal was certainly a natural for DeWitt, who grew up around baseball and whose father served as general manager of the Detroit Tigers and later owned the Cincinnati Reds.
The consolidated ownership of our sporting institutions, a perfect illustration of the power of the “one percent,” deserves much more journalistic scrutiny. Sometimes, sports is just fun. And sometimes, viewed with some distance, it is dead serious business. GRAPHIC: http://www.dennisparuch.com/Cardinals/P1010113.jpg WhoWhatWhy.com is a non-profit, non-partisan investigative journalism website founded by Russ Baker. Follow us on Twitter, Facebookor read more onWhoWhatWhy.com
The Bushes and their friends had ownership stakes in a lot of teams—the Reds, the Mets, the Tigers, and other favorites. It all started with W.’s great-grandfather George Herbert “Bert” Walker, who was a force behind professional golf’s Walker Cup and, in fact, the introduction of golf itself into America. He was also a prominent booster of the New York Yacht Club, professional tennis, and premier horse racing. This family legacy culminated in George W. Bush’s successful effort at capturing a new constituency known as the NASCAR voter. Of course, being associated with sports offers obvious benefits in terms of pleasure and ego, but there is little question that the Bush group was adept at leveraging yet one more beloved American institution.