This week, with an incredible four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres, our New York Yankees put an exclamation point on a spectacular season and secured their place among the greatest teams in baseball history.
The Yankees dominated the series just as they did the regular season - with powerful hitting, skillful pitching, adept fielding, and great strategy. They didn't lose focus and they didn't let up. They played smart, aggressive baseball with sound fundamentals. This is a team in the true sense of the word. Everyone contributed and no one's talent was wasted.
This entire Yankees team is made up of players who know how to work together and rise to the occasion. On the way to 114 regular season wins and 125 wins overall - on the way to becoming the best team in the history of baseball - they taught us about professionalism, class, perseverance and grace, particularly when they pulled together to support their friend and teammate Darryl Strawberry after he was diagnosed with cancer.
At Friday's parade up the Canyon of Heroes, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers turned out to thank the Yankees for this amazing year, and to remind us that this team exemplifies the very best of our City - how when we work hard and work together with camaraderie and respect, we are greater than the sum of our parts. By displaying remarkable character as baseball players and human beings, the 1998 Yankees set an example for all the people of the City... and proved themselves to be powerful role models for our children.
I want to thank Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner for putting together such a fantastic group of players. As tough as it is to see this season end, there's consolation in the fact that this Yankees team has enriched the City, and will be the pride of the City forever.
I also want to thank the Department of Sanitation for their excellent work, once again, in cleaning up after a major event. If you walk around the streets of lower Manhattan, it's almost impossible to tell that we had a tremendous ticker tape parade just two days ago.
Finally, I want to remind everyone to turn their clocks back an hour this morning if you haven't already as daylight savings time ends and standard time resumes. And while you're at it, change the battery in your smoke detectors. Civilian fire fatalities last year were at their lowest level since 1959, but we can reduce them even more. That's why the Fire Department's "Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery" campaign has distributed thousands of 9-volt batteries. Prevention, after all, is the best way to save lives. From Gracie Mansion, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.