HOUSTON -- Astros owner Drayton McLane, manager Brad Mills, first-base coach Bobby Meacham and several players had lunch Tuesday afternoon with former President George Bush at his office in west Houston. Bush invites several members of the Astros each year for lunch.
"I was starstruck when I saw him and [former first lady] Barbara [Bush]," Astros third baseman Chris Johnson said. "It was awesome and a huge honor they invited us to have lunch."
Johnson was joined by teammates Hunter Pence, Brett Wallace and Mark Melancon. Bush treated the group to a lunch consisting of salad and pizza and then gave the players and staff prizes, such as an autographed baseball with the presidential seal and presidential cufflinks.
"It shows what a gracious person he and Barbara are," McLane said. "The players have their picture taken individually with each and as a group, and he and Barbara tell stories about being world leaders. I've been 15 times, and every time I hear something and see something new and get inspired."
Wallace was only 2 years old when Bush took office in 1989, but he understood the significance of getting to meet the 41st President.
"It's unbelievable to get a chance to sit down with a former President and talk to him about different things from presidential life to his son's presidency and all those things," Wallace said. "It's a one-in-a-lifetime experience, and something I'll definitely cherish for the rest of my life."