WASHINGTON -- While most of his teammates wore a standard business suit to the White House on Tuesday, left fielder Jonny Gomes essentially donned the American flag.
That's what his sport coat looked like, and Gomes was proud of it.
"I'm a pretty patriotic person, whether it's my outfit or what I stand for," said Gomes. "I didn't want it to be too much of a distraction. I hope it's not. Just truly blessed for my freedom and everything that the flag stands for."
Gomes has never been afraid to put himself out there. Following each clinching celebration last October, he paraded around the field wearing an army helmet.
As for the suit, Gomes not only wore one, but he also brought a matching one for President Barack Obama.
"I had an opportunity with a couple of others and our ownership group to present the Jonny Gomes jacket to President Obama and share a few comments about last year, what we were able to accomplish as a team," said manager John Farrell. "I don't think he's necessarily going to wear that jacket, as Jonny might, but still it was a good time."
In fact, Gomes was one of the players Obama cited during his speech of congratulations to the 2013 World Series champs, noting the three-run homer that broke the tie in Game 4 in St. Louis and seemed to change the entire complexion of the Fall Classic.
Obama got a chance to thank Gomes for the unique gift.
"He approved," Gomes said. "He made sure to tell me he liked it. He thanked me for his, and the team signing it. He definitely approved. He made sure to look me right in the eye and said, 'Nice jacket.'"
Gomes has often talked of all the adversity he faced off the field before establishing himself as a Major League player. And that's what made a day like Tuesday even more special to him.
"Yeah, it's pretty special with the forks in my road, the adversity I've had in my road," said Gomes. "To be able to share a day with the president -- and not only with the president, but with my teammates -- is something I stand for -- and that's a team and winning. To get that opportunity to win the highest possible game you could win, the World Series, and be able to share it with the highest leader of our country, there's not too much after that. It's pretty special."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.