This afternoon, President Obama welcomed the New York Yankees into the White House to honor their 2009 World Series Championship. The President was also joined by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood – both Yankees fans. The President congratulated the team for winning back their title and praised them for “that attitude, that success, that has always made the Yankees easy to love.”
[F]or the millions of Yankees fans in New York and around the world who bleed blue, nothing beats that Yankee tradition: 27 World Series titles; 48 Hall of Famers -- a couple, I expect, standing behind me right now. From Ruth to Gehrig, Mantle to DiMaggio, it’s hard to imagine baseball without the long line of legends who’ve worn the pinstripes. Last season, this team continued that legacy, winning 103 games and leaving no doubt who was the best team in baseball.
But what people tend to forget -– especially after watching their teams lose -– is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do. Being successful in New York doesn’t come easy, and it’s not for everybody. It takes a certain kind of player to thrive in the pressure cooker of Yankee Stadium -– somebody who is poised and professional, and knows what it takes to wear the pinstripes. It takes somebody who appreciates how lucky he is, and who feels a responsibility for those who are less fortunate.
The President commended Manager Joe Girardi for HOPE Week, a program where the Yankees help make a difference in the lives of those in need, thanking them for “bringing hope and joy to folks who really need it at a time of great difficulty,” and recognizing that “it’s the people underneath the pinstripes that set this team apart.”