THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT TO CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY AT FULLERTON NCAA BASEBALL TEAM The Rose Garden
2:45 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. Please be seated. Dr. Gordon, Coach Garrido, Assistant Coach George Horton, Congressman Royce; to my friend, Roger Johnson, and to all the members of this championship team: Now, I knew that Cal State-Fullerton had won the National Baseball Championship because I keep up with it. But some of the less schooled people here in the White House, when they heard that Cal State was coming today and it was about baseball, they thought that someone had given Cal Ripken a whole state. (Laughter.) And when they said that, I said, well, I hope he'll share it with me next year. (Laughter.) Think about that. (Applause.)
Coach Garrido, Coach Horton, to all the student athletes who are here, I want to congratulate you on a remarkable baseball season and on your national championship.
Baseball is both a team sport and a collection of individual players. Most important of all, it's a team sport, but I think it's worth noting that four of these players were selected to the College World Series All Tournament Team -- Brian Loyd, the catcher; the third-baseman, Tony Martinez; Ted Silva, the pitcher; and the Series MVP and the College Player of the Year, the outfielder, Mark Kotsay.
I also want to compliment the Coach and the players on complete honesty and full disclosure. They told me when I was in there that one of their pitchers, Tim Dixon, who had a perfect season -- 13 and 0 -- played last year at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I'm glad we can make some contribution to some national champion this year, since we didn't quite make it in basketball.
You have been called college baseball's "Dream Team" --an 18-game season ending winning streak, the World Series sweep, the best-ever season record for the school of 57 wins and nine losses. You know, a lot of your success, I'm sure, has the same roots as the remarkable success that we celebrated just a few days ago when I joined a lot of other Americans in Camden Yard, and others watching all across America, when we saw Cal Ripken break Lou Gehrig's record.
It really takes a commitment to hard work and dedication and team work and basically doing it every day. One of the things that I like about baseball is that there are a lot of games in the season. Sometimes, being in politics, I wish we had more than one game every four years. But it's very important in baseball to have that daily discipline, that daily awareness, that daily readiness, that steadiness that so many Americans bring to other aspects of their lives.
And I think that America has kind of fallen back in love with baseball again the last few weeks, and I hope it gets a lot more attention. And I hope the qualities required for real success and excellence in baseball will become more and more appreciated by all of our people, because they're qualities that we can all use in our everyday lives, no matter what else we do.
So I want to join your Congressman and the entire state of California in expressing to all you young men my pride in you and your achievement. Congratulations for a job well-done. And I hope you will take the spirit and the values that brought you to the national championship with you throughout the rest of your lives, no matter what you do. Good luck and God bless you. (Applause.)
END 2:50 P.M. EDT