The Washington Post

Obama at bat: President welcomes World Series champion San Francisco Giants before prime-time speech

President Obama poses with legendary San Francisco Giants outfielder Willie Mays during a ceremony in the White House's East Room on Monday. (David Nakamura)

Perhaps hoping some of their winning ways would rub off, Obama feted the 2010 champs during a brief ceremony in the East Room, in front of a crowd that included California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and former mayor Willie Brown.

Presidents playing host to champion sports teams is a time-honored tradition, and the Giants’ visit was scheduled months ago. But the timing might have been fortuitous for the embattled president. From the moment legendary Giant Willie Mays, the “Say Hey Kid,” entered the East Room to a standing ovation, soon followed by Obama, it was obvious that the president, for a few minutes at least, would be a fan favorite.

“Even though these players haven’t always followed the traditional rules, one thing they know is how to win,” Obama said, poking fun at relief pitcher Brian Wilson’s bushy beard.

Pointing out that star pitcher Tim Lincecum has a skinny build, the slender Obama quipped: “America learned sometimes it’s a good idea to bet on the skinny guy.”

The audience laughed. As the president left the podium, his aides were distributing a e-mail to reporters that Obama’s turn at the plate had come: He would address the nation over the debt crisis in a televised prime time appearance at 9 p.m. Eastern Monday in the very same East Room.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Miss Manners: The technology's changed, but the rules are the same
Behind a famous and fast steam locomotive
Play Videos
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
How to survive a shark attack
What you need to know about trans fats
Play Videos
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Riding the X2 with D.C.'s most famous rapper
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom