George W. Bush photo

Remarks Honoring the 2001 World Series Champion Arizona Diamondbacks

December 13, 2001

The President. We were looking for a little entertainment for tonight's Christmas party—[laughter]—but we didn't find it. [Laughter]

I want to welcome the mighty Diamondbacks to the White House. It didn't take you long to get here. I'm developing a severe case of trophy envy. [Laughter] We were lucky to get out of last place with the Rangers, and here you are— thanks, in part, to you. But I do want to congratulate you all.

First, let me say welcome to the Arizona delegation. I'm glad to see the Senator and Members of the United States Congress here. Thank you all for coming.

It's an amazing year, obviously, for our country. And the World Series couldn't have come at a better time. It gave the American people a chance to think about something other than the war. And what a fabulous World Series it was.

I want to thank—I want to congratulate Bob Brenly, rookie of the year. [Laughter] What a great job he did. [Laughter] I still think I remember meeting you after throwing out that ball. I was about 5 feet off the ground; I went with kind of a rising slider. [Laughter] But it was an amazing experience, and Bob was there with Joe Torre. And I really felt proud to be an American at that moment. I know the players did, as well.

I want to congratulate the vice president and general manager, Joe Garagiola, Jr.— I'm always suspicious of guys who's got a famous father. [Laughter] And Rich Dozer; and of course, Jerry, I want to congratulate you and the ownership group; and all the great players.

The players gave us a fabulous Series. I can't think of a better way to end a World Series, particularly in a time of national need, than in the bottom of the ninth, in the seventh game—everybody watching in the country, people cheering one way or the other, such joy and jubilation.

So I want to thank the players. I also particularly want to thank the players for going to Ground Zero. I know Matt Williams' quote was one that caught my attention, when he said, "We're glad to get a chance to shake the hands and talk to some of the true American heroes."

It really meant a lot to the people of New York to see the Diamondbacks, kind of the foe of the mighty Yankees, go to Ground Zero and to thank those people whose lives were hurting a lot, people who had spent enormous amounts of energy trying to rescue a fallen brother or sister because of what the enemy had done. And I really want to thank you all for doing that. It was a true class act; not only a great baseball team but you're obviously a group of really fine human beings. And for that the Nation is grateful, and thank you.

God bless the players here and their families. It's a fabulous time of year, as you can see. The White House is just majestic in its beauty. It's a special honor to be the President of the United States at any time. It's especially a special honor to be at a time when our Nation is bound together for a common cause, and that's to fight and win the war against terror.

So welcome to the White House, congratulations, and may God bless you all.

[At this point, Jerry Colangelo, Arizona Diamondbacks chairman and chief executive officer, made brief remarks, and pitchers Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson presented the President with a gift.]

The President. Thanks. You can just stay down there, and I'll stand here—[laughter]—kind of like the jockey. [Laughter] Curt, thanks; I love the relationship you have with your son. [Inaudible] Thank you all.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:50 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Bob Brenly, manager, Rich Dozer, president, and Matt Williams, infielder, Arizona Diamondbacks; and Joe Torre, manager, New York Yankees.

George W. Bush, Remarks Honoring the 2001 World Series Champion Arizona Diamondbacks Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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