The Red Sox have had their day in the sun on the South Lawn of the White House.
President Barack Obama feted the 2013 champions on Tuesday, and saluted the team for its role in helping Boston heal from the Marathon bombings last years.
“Boston and the Red Sox were one this season,” Obama said to a crowd that included former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino and MBTA police officer Richard “Dic” Donohue, who was injured in the hunt for the alleged Marathon bombers.
“Bottom line is, I’m proud of these guys,” he added. “As a baseball fan, I appreciate their comeback season, but more importantly, as president, I’m grateful for their character and their embrace of the essential role they played in the spirit of that city.”
Obama also paid homage to the families of fallen Boston Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lieutenant Edward Walsh, who died in a Beacon Street fire last week.
Obama spoke in front of dozens of Red Sox players, coaches and staff members assembled on the South Lawn.
“I don’t recognize all these clean-shaven guys,” he joked as he began, before noting how it was a “novelty” to watch the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004, but seems routine now.
Red Sox DH David Ortiz presented Obama with a white shirt with “Boston” across the chest (similar to the shirts the team wore in the aftermath of the bombing last season) and with “Obama 44” on the back.
Ortiz also took a “selfie” of him with Obama (which he later posted on Twitter) while presenting the jersey.
Obama is a fan of the Chicago White Sox, and joked as he finished his remarks, “May the best Sox win.”