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Why baseball's opening day is so important to Jenna and her family

Baseball has played an important role in her life since childhood.
/ Source: TODAY

Jenna Bush Hager is remembering a special bonding moment she had with her dad, former President George W. Bush, when she was younger.

While speaking with Hoda Kotb on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna on March 30, Jenna said it was a very special day for her because it was opening day of the Major League Baseball season.

Jenna said that since her father is a former managing general partner of the Texas Rangers, she grew up going to many baseball games with him.

"We went to 73 games a year," she said. "It was so much part of my DNA that it's weird to even think about it. My parents took us — every time they went, like, we didn't have babysitters. We just went along."

Jenna explained that the one thing she loved about baseball was that she got the chance to watch the game with her family.

She said she was even there when Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan threw one of his no-hitters, and the amazing memories she's had with her family made her text her dad to ask if he was going to 2023 opening day.

"So I wrote my dad today and I said, 'Are you going to opening day?' And he said, 'Yeah, Nolan Ryan and I will both be there but neither one of us is throwing out the first pitch,'" she laughed.

Jenna said she started going to the games when she was in first grade and whenever she went to camp as a little girl, she would listen to a Rangers game on her Walkman because it reminded her of her parents.

"Oh, my God, that makes me want to cry," Hoda said. "That is so beautiful."

Now, as a mom of three, Jenna has been trying to give her kids the same childhood that she's had. In 2019, she posted a picture of herself taking her daughter Mila, now 9, to a baseball game with her parents.

Jenna captioned the post, "Sweetest first baseball game for Mila — last game in the stadium that for the last 26 years brought us so many memories. I was Mila’s age when my dad first started working for the Rangers, taught me to keep score and under these Texas stars we met some dear friends."