Sep 27, 2022

President Biden Welcomes the Atlanta Braves to the White House Transcript

President Biden Welcomes the Atlanta Braves to the White House Transcript
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President Biden Welcomes the Atlanta Braves to the White House. Read the transcript here.

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President Joe Biden: (00:00)
What a big deal, being here for world champions. Please have a seat. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

President Joe Biden: (00:10)
Well, welcome to the White House, the 2021 World Champion Atlanta Braves. I was telling the guys back in the other side of the building that I married a Philly girl and she’s smarter than I am and she’s a hell of a lot better looking. And like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else in the universe. And these guys beat the Phillies last night. I love them. Boss, I thought I was going to be quarantined today. Anyway, I have to be careful how nice I am to these guys today, especially since last night.

President Joe Biden: (01:24)
We’re joined by so many friends from Atlanta, starting with a former mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms. Stand up, Keisha. Keisha now works full time in the executive office building with me and she’s the best. She’s the best. She took over from Cedric Richmond who was, as he says, a Morehouse man, played baseball at Morehouse. He’s now at the Democratic State National Committee. We’ve also got Mayor Andre Dixon. There you go, mayor. But I want you to know Lisa Cupid, Cobb County Commissioner, she’s got the stadium. And from the Georgia Congressional Delegation, Representative Bourdeaux, Williams and Carter are all here. Stand up, guys.

President Joe Biden: (02:36)
Atlanta is a great American sports city, and the Braves are a big reason for that. This team has literally been part of the American history for over 150 years. The only franchise to field players in every single season since pro baseball began in 1870. Pretty amazing. My grandfather was an All-American football player at Santa Clara. He was a newspaper guy from Scranton, Pennsylvania. His name was Ambrose Finnigan. And when there was the Boston Braves, he didn’t like them. Anyway, that’s another story. This team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron, the Home Run King, 25 time all star, 25 times. Hank Aaron shattered a lot of records, but he shattered him in racism as well, with dignity and with class.

President Joe Biden: (03:40)
It’s been celebrated for success in the ’90s, five times World Series in a decade, 14 straight division titles. And now the Braves will be forever remembered for the unstoppable, joyful run that this team made last year, and I would say unprobable one at the time. It was a rough start, player injuries, All Star break, not one day of a winning record, given a 0.4% chance of winning on CNN. No, I’m only joking. I listen to all the percentages I’ve seen. My batting average isn’t nearly as good at any rate. But the franchise never quit, never gave in. You rebuild the whole outfield practically overnight, play by play. And you grind and you grounded out and you did it together. You made the playoffs and beat the Brewers and the Dodgers. And then you beat the Astros to win it all. Forever known as the Upset Kings of October. One of history’s greatest turnarounds. First title in 26 years. But none of it came easy. People counted you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out. And I know in Georgia, you show up when it counts.

President Joe Biden: (05:18)
You never gave up. You never get in. As my mother would say, “You keep the faith.” This team proved what Hank Aaron once said. He said, “There is no shortcut in life. You have to take it one step at a time and work hard, and you have to give back.” Well, this team has done it all. That’s what this team does on the field, off the field, through the community service. It gives back, channeling its reach and resources to feed the hungry, support our veterans, give kids a safe place to play and so much more, bringing people together and inspiring us to do better by the power of your example. That’s sports. That’s America. And that’s why I’m honored to host the 2021 Braves who are here at the White House. Fellas, congratulations. And Mr. Chairman, the floor is yours.

Speaker 2: (06:20)
The first thing I would say on behalf of all of my brethren behind me is, wow, what a thrill to be here at the White House. I want to start off paying a little bit of a compliment to our team, as President Biden has just done. They played an extra innings game last night. We got in hours late from when … They’ve been doing a lot of traveling. You cannot believe at this point in the season how tired they are. They won 8-7 in the 11th inning last night. These guys …

President Joe Biden: (06:51)
I slept in the guest room.

Speaker 2: (06:59)
As the president says, this group never quits. It is unbelievable. It is the metaphor of how we got here today. This group shows up, does their job every day. It’s an amazing group of men. Back to President Biden, thank you so much for your kind remarks. On behalf of the entire Braves organization and all of our players, we want to thank you officially for hosting us in celebrating the 2021 World Series Championship here at the White House. We’re pinching ourselves. Mr. President, I’d like to thank one of our Atlanta friends, Keisha Bottoms, former mayor of Atlanta, who is on your staff. Her helpfulness in getting this done made it happen. Thank you, Keisha.

Speaker 2: (07:53)
And as the president so aptly talked about, last year’s championship was so special because on August 1st, we were playing below 500 ball and we were no one’s pick for the post season. But thanks to some savvy moves by Alex at the trade deadline, which we know well, and the great leadership on the field by Snit, we came back and we won our fourth straight division title, beating three incredible teams that the President’s just outlined, the brewers, the Dodgers, and the Astros, on our way to winning the 2021 World Series Championship.

Speaker 2: (08:35)
A little aside. We still think we had a special angel looking over us, having our recently passed friend Hank Aaron pulling the strings from on high. There’s no question, Hank was a part of what we did, and he’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here.

Speaker 2: (09:00)
In a few days, Mayor Dickens, a few days after we landed back in Atlanta, we welcomed two million fans along the parade route, which showed how the team brought everyone back together after the very trying years of the COVID years. So finally, Mr. President, we have a very young and very talented roster, and we hope this isn’t a one and done visit to your home. In short, we plan to be back. And now I’d like to invite our President of Baseball Operations, Alex Anthopoulos and our manager Brian Snitker, to present a special gift to the President from our team.

President Joe Biden: (10:02)
[inaudible 00:10:02] Don’t kill me.

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