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Remarks Honoring the 2014 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants

June 04, 2015

Hello, everybody! Have a seat, have a seat. Welcome to the White House. For these folks, I guess, it's welcome back. [Laughter] This is the third time in the last 5 years: the world champion San Francisco Giants!

We have a lot of Giants fans in the house. We've got some Members of Congress, including Leader Nancy Pelosi. Mayor Lee is here. The outstanding CEO of the Giants, Larry Baer. I am particularly honored to have a couple of trailblazing Hall of Famers here: Monte Irvin and the "Say Hey Kid," Willie Mays. And of course, we've got a manager who seems to be making his own case for Cooperstown, Bruce Bochy.

So this is quite a crew that we've got up here. They have won three titles in 5 years, probably only matched soon by the white—by the Blackhawks, who are—but that's hockey, so I'll—[laughter]. This is the first National League team in almost 70 years to do that. They have not lost a playoff series since 2003. And they're doing it all at a time when we've got more playoff teams than ever, more parity than we've seen in a long time. I mean, even the Cubs have a shot this year. [Laughter] And I continue to hold out hope that my White Sox can turn it around.

But all that parity seems to wipe away whenever the Giants make the playoffs. I mean, the truth is, it seems like if they get in, they'll probably win it. [Laughter] They've got that "even year" magic. They've got that championship experience. I seem to be good luck for them. [Laughter] Apparently. And I guess they do have one other thing: Madison Bumgarner. [Applause] They've got Madison.

So last October, Madison put together a string of performances that I think is pretty hard to believe, and I'm not talking about his locker room celebrations. [Laughter] Twenty-five years old and is already one of the best pitchers in postseason history. For his career, he's 4 and 0 with a 0.25 ERA in the World Series. Last year, he set a new record for postseason innings pitched.

And of course, there's Game 7, which is what kids in their backyards dream about. Madison comes in from the bullpen on just 2 days' rest after throwing a complete game shutout in Game 5. Throws five more scoreless innings to wrap up the title with one of the greatest performances in World Series history. As a courtesy to my Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, I won't mention the team he beat. [Laughter] He's from Kansas City, but—[laughter].

But you can't win a World Series—or you certainly can't win three of them—just with one guy. The Giants have those pillars that all great teams have. Buster Posey. Matt Cain. Tim Lincecum couldn't be here today, but obviously has made an enormous contribution. The Core Four out of the bullpen.

And then there are guys like Yusmeiro Petit, who set a world League record by retiring 46 consecutive batters during the season. Veteran All-Star Tim Hudson. Joe Panik, a rookie last year. And of course, we've got Hunter Pence. I told Hunter I was going to talk about him a little bit. He was not only named to the All-Star team, he inspired a craze of signs from opposing fans like "Hunter Pence eats pizza with a fork," "Hunter Pence likes Godfather 3." [Laughter] Not everybody would have laughed at those signs, but not everybody is Hunter Pence. [Laughter]

So it was another great season for the Giants. But what's best about this organization is the example they set off the field. Their Junior Giants program works to get our young people active, teaches them skills like self-esteem and teamwork and leadership. They've given out nearly $500,000 in scholarships to students.

Today I'm proud to announce that the Giants Community Fund is teaming up with San Francisco State University and Major League Baseball to build a multimillion-dollar Junior Giants Urban Youth Academy, complete with training facilities, classrooms, batting cages, two baseball fields.

The academy will target boys and girls from underserved areas of San Francisco and will include mentoring and tutoring and college prep programming. It's the kind of initiative that fits right in with the goals of our "My Brother's Keeper" initiative to keep all of our young people out of trouble and give them the opportunity to stretch as far as their dreams will take them. And it builds on the work that Major League Baseball is already doing to lift up young people in communities like Compton and New Orleans and right here in Washington, DC.

So it's a tremendous commitment from a tremendous team. Congratulations, everybody. Good luck this year. We're proud of you. Everybody, give a big round of applause. San Francisco Giants. Hey!

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:25 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Mayor Edwin M. Lee of San Francisco, CA; Monford M. "Monte" Irvin, former left fielder, New York Giants; and Willie H. Mays, Jr., former center fielder, Gerald D. "Buster" Posey, catcher, Matt Cain, Timothy L. Linecum, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Yusmeiro A. Petit, Timothy A. Hudson, pitchers, Joseph M. Panik, second baseman, and Hunter A. Pence, outfielder, Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants.

Barack Obama, Remarks Honoring the 2014 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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