Outfielder Jonny Gomes wore an American-flag inspired blazer, and David “Big Papi” Ortiz interrupted the ceremony to snap a smartphone “selfie” with President Barack Obama.
Obama took note of the red-white-and-blue jacket, Gomes said. “He made sure to tell me he liked it,” the outfielder said. “I’m just a pretty patriotic person.”
Today’s visit continued a presidential tradition of championship teams visiting the White House, even though Obama cheers for another Major League Baseball team with Sox in its name, his hometown Chicago White Sox.
“May the best Sox win,” the president joked as he stood on the South Lawn with Red Sox players, owners, coaches, support staff and fans.
The president also teased the players who had shaved the bushy beards that adorned their faces and defined their gritty play during the 2013 season.
“Now, I thought I invited the Red Sox here today, but there must be a mistake because I don’t recognize all these clean-shaven guys,” the president said.
Obama turned serious in speaking about the team’s performance -- Boston has won three championships in a decade and went from worst-to-first last season -- and how much it meant to the city after a bombing at the Boston Marathon last April left three dead and more than 260 injured.
“The first responders, the brave citizens, the resolute victims of these tragedies -- they’re all ’Boston Strong,’” the president said. “And ultimately that’s what this team played for last season, and every man behind me did his part to keep the team rolling.”
Obama even endorsed Ortiz’s expletive-punctuated exhortation during a pre-game ceremony shortly after the April 18 bombing; “This is our [expletive] city,” Ortiz told a roaring crowd at the team’s Fenway Park.
“I think Big Papi put it better and more colorfully than any of us could,” the president said today.
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