US President George W. Bush (C) enjoys a simple dinner with a few sports friends at the Tee-Pee Mexican Restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, 21 January 2004. Artie Moreno, Anaheim Angeles Baseball owner (L), Bob Brenly, Manager Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball (2nd-L) and Jerry Colangelo, Managing General Partner of the Phoenix Suns Basketball, along with Joe Garagiola Jr, (not seen), VP and GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks are attending.
I found the above pic when I was looking for pics of Joe Sr, for last week’s piece on the 20th anniversary color commentator, and figured its anniversary would be a nice moment to share this piece of local memorabilia. Of course, it wasn’t the first time Bush and Brenly had met. Most obviously, they had done so on the field at Yankee Stadium on October 30, 2001, before Game 3. Bush became the first president to throw out a ceremonial first pitch do so at a World Series in Yankee Stadium for 45 years. Brenly and the D-backs also visited the White House in December that year, as World Series champions, when Bush called Brenly, “Rookie of the Year.”
Interesting to see Moreno and Colangelo together. For, of course, Moreno was born and grew up in Tucson, lived in Phoenix, and was one of the original investors in the Diamondbacks - indeed, he tried to buy the team in 2001. However, Colangelo considered the offer too low, and brought in $160 million of fresh funding. According to the Arizona Republic, the pair “had a falling-out,” and Moreno sold his 5.3% stake in the D-backs. Two years later - about nine months before the picture - he bought a controlling interest in the Anaheim Angels from Disney, paying $180 million.
As for Bush, he was on a trip to Arizona to talk about the economy, and going to the restaurant “was suggested by a Bush staffer, Sarah Tillman, who grew up in Phoenix and whose family had frequented the restaurant for generations.” He had the #2 combination plate, consisting of two enchiladas (cheese for him), rice and beans. As of 2006, a plaque marked the booth where the presidential posterious parked, and his choice was celebrated on the menu as “The Presidential Meal”.