"Then there's the guy with the beard," Obama said as he turned to Brian Wilson in the back row. "I do fear it." He’d invited the Giants to the White House to celebrate their 2010 World Series victory, and even seldom-conforming Brian Wilson dressed appropriately in a pinstriped suit. On Wilson, the president said, "Underneath Brian's beard, and the spandex tuxedo and the sea captain costume and the cleats with his face on them, is also one of the most dominant closers in baseball."
Obama also noted that nine teams bypassed pitcher Tim Lincecum, before the Giants selected him with the 10th pick of the 2006 draft, fearing his body would "fly apart" because of his thin frame and whip-like delivery. Lincecum then proved them wrong by winning two Cy Young awards and a World Series ring. "America learned sometimes it's a good idea to bet on the skinny guy," the lithe president said to laughter from Lincecum and the crowd.
The champions' White House visit might be a political cliche, but it remains a big deal for the teams that win, especially those that do not win often. This day was huge for a lot of power brokers who reserved seats. Most notable were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and former Mayor Willie Brown.
The biggest cheers and longest ovation went not for the current Giants nor Obama, but for Willie Mays, who was introduced like so many foreign dignitaries who visit the White House.
Causes Kevin Arnold Supports
Poetry Center San Jose, East Palo Alto Police Activities League (EPA PAL), Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Yale Writing Conference, Gold Rush Writers