White House South Lawn Washington D.C. November 4 1:45 P.M. EST
Well, thank you very much, everyone. I have to say, this is a record. We've never had this many people on the front lawn of the White House. So, congratulations. (Applause.) Just another record for the Nats.
But, today, the First Lady and I are thrilled to welcome to the White House the 2019 World Series Champions, the Washington Nationals. (Applause.)
For the first time in nearly 100 years, our nation's capital is celebrating a World Series victory. That's big stuff. (Applause.) The last time Washington, D.C. was home to the World Series champs, the President was a gentleman named Calvin Coolidge. That's a long time ago.
Nearly a century later, the Nationals have brought back the trophy to America's capital, and you've won it. This is the first World Series in franchise history, and it's going to be, really, the first of many, I predict. (Applause.)
I want to congratulate the terrific owners of the team. Your principal owner, Mark Lerner, and Ted Lerner. Great people. (Applause.) The Lerner family.
A man who's become very famous - I think he's much more famous than me right now - General Manager Mike Rizzo. You have become very famous, huh? (Applause.)
Thank you, sir.
A manager - and you watch all the mistakes made in baseball and other sports, and then you watch what this man did as manager. He didn't make any. He didn't many any. Dave Martinez. (Applause.)
And all of the incredible coaches and players, they're all here. And we, really, just want to thank you, and I want to thank everybody. I see we have some very special people, and that beautiful - that's a beautiful trophy. I've watched that; I've looked at that trophy for a long time. For a long time, I've admired it. Many years.
We're also delighted to be joined by the thousands of proud Nats fans, including - (applause) - Secretary David Bernhardt, Secretary Alex Azar, Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. Many, many folks from Congress are in the audience - senators and everybody. You're all here. We love you all. And we have a good friend of mine, Bill Posey - Representative Bill Posey. You're here someplace. Thank you all for being here. A lot of power sitting on this lawn and standing on this lawn.
Throughout this season, the Nationals captured the hearts of baseball fans across the region and across the country. America fell in love with the Nats baseball. They just fell in love with Nats baseball. That's all they wanted to talk about. That and impeachment. (Laughter.) I like Nats baseball much more. (Laughter and applause.)
You worked every count, hustled for every base, you fought for every run, and produced a comeback story for the ages. Never happened like what happened with the Nats. And that means a lot of good decisions were made. You remind us all why baseball is truly America's pastime. So great for the sport.
Nearly two months into the season, the Nats had a 19 and 31 record. And I watched it closely too. I wasn't too happy. (Laughter.) It looked like things weren't going so well, Mike. Right?
Not at all.
But these two guys, they didn't give up. They didn't give up. And I am sure that everybody was - I'm sure the media was with you all the way, right? (Laughter.)
I remember some nasty stories. Boy, did that change pretty quickly, right? That's great.
But you were second to last in the National League, and it looked like it was going to be a rough year. But you never doubted. As pitcher Max Scherzer - and, boy, did he pitch well. (Applause.) What a job. I've watched you for a long time. Nobody - nobody throws it better than you do. What a great job you did, Max. Thank you. Under pressure, as well. Under pressure, as well. But, you know, Max said, "We have the experience. We don't fold under pressure." Which puts more pressure on the team, but that's one of those things, right? (Laughter.) And that's exactly what happened: You didn't fold under pressure.
From then on, the Nationals won two games for every loss, which is a tremendous percentage - winning percentage. As you battled for every win, Gerardo Parra changed his walk-up song to "Baby Shark." (Applause.) That was a favorite of his two-year-old daughter, and it became the anthem for the Nats fans everywhere. And I tell you what: That turned out to be a very, very powerful little tune. (Laughter.)
In the final weeks of the regular season, you were down six runs against the Mets. In the bottom of the ninth, you scored seven runs - I do remember that well - including an amazing three-run homer by Kurt Suzuki . Where is Kurt? Where is he? (Applause.) Come here. Come here. Come here.
He's got the hat.
Say a couple of words. Come on. (Laughter and applause.)
Oh! (Mr. Suzuki puts on the "Make America Great Again" hat.)
I love him! Oh! (Applause.) That's so nice.
I love you all. I love you all. Thank you. (Laughter.)
Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.
What a job he did. I didn't know that was going to happen. (Laughter.) And, by the way - Max, will you come over here, please? Come here. (Applause.) I asked the First Lady, "Do you think I can throw a ball as fast as him?" She said, "Yes, darling. Absolutely." (Laughter.) I don't think so.
My gosh. To be in this moment with everybody cheering, for - to be at the White House, what a month. What a magical month. And what - (applause) - when the city gets behind you, and your teammates believe in each other, and you have 1 through 25 on a roster competing, magic happens. And what a day to be able to share it all with you. (Applause.)
Thank you, Max. Great job.
So, you beat the Mets. In the bottom of the ninth, you scored that seven runs, including the amazing three-run homer by Kurt. And the Nats, as always, they lived up to a motto. It's: "Stay in the Fight!" That's true about life. "Stay in the Fight." You never know what's going to happen. Stay in there.
Soon, you began a legendary post-season run against the best teams and top aces in baseball. Everybody thought it was over because it was almost like, Mike, you were just going against all of the good teams. Dave? It was sort of an incredible thing. And then Josh Hader and Clayton Kershaw to Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
You know those names, right? They're really good. Right? Pretty good pitchers. Right, Max? And you took care of it. You take care of things. Pretty incredible.
You prevailed in five elimination games. And you were pitching. You were, really, facing the best pitchers in baseball - the absolute top. And you trailed in every single game. Every single one of those games, you were trailing, and executed four of your comebacks in the seventh inning - which I guess is a lucky inning, maybe.
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