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May 22, 2014

The president's words at the HOF

Following is a transcript of President Obama's speech at the Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday:

3:50 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  Thank you. Thank you.  There must be some White Sox fans here somewhere.  (Laughter.)  It is great to be here in Cooperstown.  And I have to say that in addition to just wonderful people, those of you all across America and around the world who have not been here, this is a gorgeous place.  We came in by helicopter and had a chance to see the landscape and it looks like a spectacular place to spend a few days, a week -- however long you want to stay. I'll bet people will be happy to have you.  

And although he is not here yet, I want to acknowledge the Governor of New York.  He had a conflict and he’s on his way up. But he is really focused on jobs in Upstate New York -- your Governor, Andrew Cuomo.  I want to thank your Mayor, Jeff Katz, for having me, and his great hospitality, and everybody who was involved in arranging the visit.  We’ve also got, by the way, our Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Ali Mayorkas, who is here. And he’s important because he’s helping bring travelers to America.  (Applause.)

It is a great honor to be the first sitting President ever to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame.  (Applause.)  The timing could not be better.  First off, summer marks the 75th anniversary of the Hall of Fame.  I also promised Frank Thomas I’d check the place out before he’s inducted in July.  (Laughter.) 

And I’m so glad I did.  Obviously I didn’t have a chance to roam around as long as I wanted, but thanks to the wonderful hospitality here, I saw the ball that William Howard Taft threw at the first-ever presidential opening day pitch.  I saw the “White Sox locker” of memorabilia, and got to bask in the glory of the 2005 World Series win.  (Applause.)  Yes!

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