Sox lauded for World Series title at White House

May 9th, 2019

WASHINGTON -- Though President Donald Trump is a staunch Yankees fan, he had no problem lauding the rival Red Sox during Thursday’s ceremony at the White House that celebrated the team’s 2018 World Series championship.

“Over the course of the 2018 season, the Red Sox, frankly they were unstoppable,” Trump said. “I watched. You outscored your opponents by 229 runs and won 108 games in the regular season -- that’s the most in Red Sox history. In the playoffs, you bested your archrivals, the Yankees, I think I’ll do a recount on this one. But you did! You beat them."

Yes, the Red Sox beat everyone who stood in their path last season, and this was the capper of all of the celebrations.

The contingent of champions included owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, president Sam Kennedy, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, ace , slugger , leadoff man and many other players and staff.

It was Martinez who presented Trump with a Red Sox jersey that had No. 18 on the back.

“Thank you Mr. President for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be honored here at the White House,” Martinez said. “And I know celebrating a Red Sox victory is tough for you because you’re a Yankees fan and all. I really want to say thanks for your hospitality.”

Trump later recalled another time when he briefly switched allegiances in MLB’s most historic rivalry.

“I was at Fenway Park and threw out the [ceremonial] first pitch a long time ago. And George Steinbrenner was not happy about it,” Trump said. "That cooled my relationship with him for about two days. But he forgot about it.”

Just as Thursday’s ceremony started on the South Lawn, some light rain started to fall. It didn’t seem to bother anyone.

“Well there’s nothing like the White House and a little rain is OK,” Trump said. “It might wipe out a suit, but that’s all right, too.”

The presence of Red Sox Nation was as noticeable on the South Lawn as it is everywhere else.

“That’s a lot of fans they have,” said Trump, noticing the frequent roars from the crowd. “Very special group of people. Very special team. Some of the biggest fans in my administration and on Capitol Hill are Red Sox fans, including Administrator Andrew Wheeler and a lot of deputy secretaries. And a very great senator, [Arkansas] Senator Tom Cotton.”

After the ceremony, the Red Sox were given a special and rare tour of the Lincoln Bedroom.

“Unless the team doesn’t want to do it, I’m going to take them to the Lincoln Bedroom,” Trump said. “If the press, the media, doesn’t report me, I’m going to take them up and show them the Lincoln Bedroom. I’m going to give the tour myself.”

It was one the Red Sox appreciated thoroughly.

“It was a very special day for us,” Werner said. “The President did something that he doesn’t do often, which is give us all a tour of the upper residence and the Lincoln Bedroom. He accompanied it with an interesting history of the Civil War, and we were all very appreciative of the time he gave us and very honored to be here.”

This marked the fourth time in the 21st century the Red Sox were invited to the White House.

“You’ve now won more World Series than any other team in the century,” Trump said. “That’s pretty good. In the same period, Boston has won six Super Bowls as well as an NBA championship and a Stanley Cup. If you think about it, what Boston has done in a short period of time is pretty amazing. In a lot of ways, but in sports, certainly.”

The day after striking out 14 Orioles in his best performance of the season, Sale was enjoying his first visit to the White House.

“We’d like to thank our spouses, our family members and friends, and our fans for coming here,” Sale said. “This is a very high honor. It’s something we appreciate very highly.”

In the morning, before arriving at the White House, the Red Sox took a trip to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit some recovering soldiers.

“To us, seeing these resilient warriors at Walter Reed is as special as anything,” Werner said. “These are people who don’t want your pity. They just want to get back to work, and for anybody who was there, I know all the players were there, they were very moved.”