April 26, 2010: President Obama welcomes the 2009 baseball world champions — the New York Yankees — to the White House. The Yankees presented the President with a team jersey with the number 27 on it, for the total number of times they’ve won the championship. In his remarks, Obama pointed out that it’s been “nine years since your last title — which must have felt like eternity for Yankee fans.” The President, who is a Chicago White Sox fan, added: “I think other teams would be just fine with a spell like that. The Cubs, for example.” But he also was quick to refer to the last time the White Sox won the World Series: “Although I do remember 2005, people, so don’t get too comfortable.”
Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton
The President poses with the team, and the World Series trophy.
Obama also praised the Yankees for their commitment to public service, saying the members of the team “share a belief that anybody blessed with first-class talent also has an obligation to be a first-class person.”
The President points to team Captain and shortstop Derek Jeter, who later warned the President about knocking the Yankees: “He’d better be careful with that. There’s a lot of Yankees fans that vote.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi presented the President with his Yankees jersey, signed by all of the players.
This was Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte’s fifth visit to the White House for a Yankees World Championship win. Pettite, Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera are a part of the “Core Four” of the Yankees, who have all been on the team for the last five wins.
Obama greets Posada, who plays catcher. When the President mentioned Posada in his speech, the crowd erupted into chants of “hip, hip, Jorge.”
When Girardi presented Obama with the trophy, assistant GM Jean Afterman called out to Girardi to “let him hold it — he might not get a chance again.” Obama laughed and replied: “And you wonder why other teams don’t root for you.”