President Barack Obama greets Red Sox at White House: 'I'm proud of these guys'

April 01, 2014 - 9:15 am

The 2013 World Series champion Red Sox were honored on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday, with President Barack Obama paying tribute to the team for helping Bostonians cope with the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. To hear the ceremony, check the WEEI audio on demand page. "I'm proud of these guys," Obama said in a brief ceremony. "As a baseball fan, I appreciate their comeback season. But more importantly, as president, I'm grateful for their character and their embrace of the essential role they played in the spirit of that city. "Sometimes, sports seems like it'€™s trivial, it'€™s just an entertainment. And then, every once in a while, you'€™re reminded that sports represents something else and it has the power to bring people together like almost nothing can. And all of you should be very proud of what you accomplished. I know your fans are. And I'€™m grateful to you as well." Obama noted that Red Sox Nation is well-represented in his administration -- "I am surrounded by Red Sox fans," he said -- and he paid tribute to former Mayor Tom Menino and MBTA Transit Police officer Richard Donahue, who was injured in the pursuit of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. Menino and Donahue were in attendance at the White House ceremony. Obama also acknowledged firefighters Michael Kennedy and Lt. Edward Walsh, who died in last week's Back Bay blaze. Designated hitter David Ortiz presented the president with a white Red Sox jersey with the No. 44 and Obama's name on the back. Ortiz then took a picture with the president -- as Obama joked about the "selfie" -- and tweeted it out. Obama, a White Sox fan from his days in Chicago, ended the ceremony by saying, "Good luck this season. May the best Sox win."