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Atlanta Braves Take a Visit to the White House

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Atlanta Braves
Courtesy of Tony Webster (Flick CC0)

The Atlanta Braves were welcomed to the White House by President Joe Biden on Monday when a reception in the East Room was held to celebrate their 2021 World Series victory.

Last November, the Atlanta Braves won Major League Baseball’s title by defeating the Houston Astros in six games. The Braves won it for the first time since 1995.

The squad never quit and never gave in, the President remarked at the White House celebration, producing one of history’s greatest turnarounds — the first title in 26 years.

“But none of it came easy. People counted you out,” Biden said, adding, “Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

The Braves chairman, Terry McGuirk, reminded the crowd, This group never quits. Hank Aaron, a Hall of Famer and renowned Braves player who passed away in January 2021, was also honored by McGuirk.

“We still believe that a particular angel was watching over us and that Hank Aaron, our recently deceased buddy, was pulling the strings from above. Hank was undoubtedly involved in what we did, and if he had been present, he would have accompanied us at every stage, according to McGuirk.

As is customary, the President received a Braves jersey bearing the number “BIDEN 46” on the back.

The event was attended by state and local political officials as well as Atlanta Braves players, owners, executives, and staff, according to the White House. Keisha Lance Bottoms, the current director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, was prominently present.

It is customary for professional sports teams to visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue following a victory, and league champions frequently have this opportunity.

Atlanta Braves
Courtesy of Matt Johnson(Flickr CC0)

On May 21, 2014, when President Obama welcomed the Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks to the White House, he made a joke about cornerback Richard Sherman. Obama added, “I debated letting Sherman up here to the podium today, giving him the mic, but we’ve got to go in a little bit,” in reference to his heated interview from earlier in the season.

All in attendance smiled and laughed in response. Obama, though, turned serious as he complimented Sherman’s capacity to triumph over challenges and achieve greatness, just like the Seahawks did en route to their 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in the championship game.

On February 4, 2016, after defeating the Cavaliers in six games to win the 2015 NBA championship, President Obama gave the Golden State Warriors a White House welcome. Obama’s comments on this particular day were particularly pertinent, as he made light of the fact that interim head coach Luke Walton didn’t receive credit for his victories (drawing comparisons to his own tenure), expressed disappointment that Riley, Steph Curry’s daughter, wasn’t there, and of course, referred to his beloved 1995–96 Chicago Bulls as the “greatest team in NBA history.”

The 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs moved up their visit to the White House to January 16, 2017, even though President Obama is actually a Chicago White Sox fan, in order to meet with the Chicago native before he departed office. The Cubs gave the president a lifetime ticket to Wrigley Field, a custom pair of Air Jordans, and a No. 44 “Obama” jersey when he was on the trip. Obama’s constant jabs about the Cubs’ lack of World Series victories came to an end with this.

The first NHL team President Obama hosted at the White House back in 2009 was also the last. At the ceremony on October 6, 2016, Obama referred to the Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins as a “great bookend to my presidency.” He remarked, “In 2009, my hair more closely matched the color of the puck than the ice.” Sidney Crosby, known as “Sid the Kid,” was a young child. And Geno [Evgeni Malkin] was still using his flip phone to take pictures. Crosby received accolades from the president for his compassion and leadership qualities, and subsequently, he was given a team jersey and a tiny copy of the Cup.

Written By Dylan Santoyo

Sources

CNN: Biden welcomes World Series champion Atlanta Braves to the White House

YARDBAKER: White House championship visits over the years

NEW YORK POST: White House says it wants Atlanta Braves name change… on same day Biden hosts team

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Bernt Rostad’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Matt Johnson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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