WASHINGTON -- The celebration of the Nationals’ first World Series championship continued throughout the weekend in D.C., from the parade down Constitution Avenue to a hockey game where they celebrated with the Washington Capitals in their locker room. And it continued Monday afternoon when members of the Nats were honored at the White House in a ceremony on the balcony steps facing the South Lawn.
It was an unusually quick turnaround for the Nationals, who won the World Series just five days earlier, as they decided to go to the White House right away with most of their players in town after the parade. Ryan Zimmerman, manager Dave Martinez and general manager Mike Rizzo walked out with President Donald Trump to begin the roughly half-hour ceremony before Zimmerman presented the president with a No. 45 white Nats jersey.
“America fell in love with Nats baseball. That’s all they wanted to talk about,” Trump said. “That and impeachment. I like Nats baseball much more.”
Players came up to the podium to give their remarks to a crowd that included a large chunk of Nationals fans, some of whom had been waiting about three hours for the ceremony to begin. The White House estimated more than 5,000 fans were in attendance on the lawn, some of whom began a “Let’s go Nats” chant before the ceremony began and a “four more years” chant imploring World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg to return.
A band played an instrumental version of “Baby Shark” as the Nats arrived on the balcony and serenaded them with “We are the Champions” as the ceremony ended.
“You brought the energy we needed,” Juan Soto told the crowd. “We’re here. We love you all. Thank you.”