World Series Champion Giants Visit White House for Third Time
WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) — For the third time in the last five years, the World Series champion San Francisco Giants visited President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday.
The 2014 baseball champions presented Obama with another jersey to commemorate the occasion, although the commander-in-chief is a well-known Chicago White Sox fan.
“This is quite a crew that we’ve got up here. They have won three titles in five years — probably only matched soon by the (Chicago) Blackhawks, but that’s hockey so,” he joked. “This is the first National League team in almost 70 years to do that. They have not lost a playoff series since 2003. And they’re doing it all at a time when we’ve got more playoff teams than ever, more parity than we’ve seen in a long time.”
“I mean, even the Cubs have a shot this year,” Obama joked.
Obama specifically noted the accomplishments of pitcher Madison Bumgarner and slugger Hunter Pence as key in the Giants’ third championship since 2010.
The 2014 World Series was notable for going a full seven games against the Kansas City Royals, which nearly pushed that final game into extra innings with the tying run on third base with two outs in the bottom of the 9th.
“As a courtesy to my press secretary, Josh Earnest, I won’t mention the team [Bumgarner] beat. He’s from Kansas City,” Obama said to a room full of laughter.
“It feels even more special every time I come,” Bumgarner, last year’s World Series MVP, said. “This time it was more special than the last time.”
In addition to the traditional jersey, Obama also received an autographed base.
“California has been a pretty strong political base for you, wouldn’t you say?” Giants CEO Larry Baer said. “So we thought it would only be fitting that today, we brought your base to you.”
The Giants visited the nation’s capital Thursday, as they were in the vicinity for a series with the Philadelphia Phillies, which starts Friday.
However, not all players attended the White House event. Pitcher Tim Lincecum, who will start Friday’s game at Philadelphia, did not attend.
Former Giants greats Willie Mays and Monte Irvin, the franchise’s first black player, were also in the East Room Thursday.
“These are the people you can’t take for granted,” Baer said. “They’re part of the history of our great game, and also part of the history of our nation. I will not forget this, ever, how joyous and deeply meaningful it is for the President to have Monte and Willie here.”
Obama also acknowledged the possibility that the Giants — who have won their last three titles in even years (2010, 2012, 2014) — could visit him one more time before he leaves office in January 2017.
“It seems like if they get in [the playoffs], they’ll probably win it,” he said. “They’ve got that ‘even year’ magic. They’ve got that championship experience. I guess they do have one other thing: Madison Bumgarner.”
Before winning the World Series in 2010, the Giants had gone 56 years without a championship.
“I seem to be good luck for them,” Obama said.