(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden hosted the 2022 World Series champion Houston Astros to celebrate the team’s win on Monday, and focused on their work off the field, particularly in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting.
The Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies in November to win the 2022 World Series. Their win came about six months after the shooting rampage at Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School left 21 dead.
“You stepped up helping those most in need. And it matters — don’t underestimate it, guys. It’s an American thing to do. You showed up for the people in Uvalde when they needed it most,” Biden said.
Biden said the community was devastated, and the team stepped up to offer support.
“You showed up. You spent time with the surviving students. You gave them hope, you played ball in the park with them, you signed jerseys with the names of the children that were lost on them,” Biden said.
While the Astros were there to celebrate their athletic accomplishment, Biden continued to heap praise on the team for caring for their fans, saying that sports is about a lot more than winning – it’s about lifting people up and bringing people together, he said.
“I’ve done a lot of these. You’re an impressive group of men. I mean you really are — from management on down to ownership. I mean they care,” Biden said.
The Astros, who were off Monday ahead of a series in Baltimore, sent more than 100 people to the White House, including owner Jim Crane, team executives, players and coaches.
Biden recognized the team’s manager, Dusty Baker for his achievement, and also poked fun at himself.
“I tell you remarkable achievements led by, and this is not hyperbole, the legendary Dusty Baker. The worst part is, I remember rooting for him as a kid, I was older than he was. Dusty, it wasn’t easy, people counted you out, saying you’re past your prime. Hell, I know something about that,” Biden joked about the 74-year-old Baker. In 2020, Biden became the oldest president ever elected at 77 years old. He is now 80, and running for reelection in 2024.
The team presented Biden with a “Biden 46” Astros jersey and posed for a photo.
“Put me in, coach! I’m ready to play,” Biden quipped as he held up the jersey, according to pool reports.
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