President Donald Trump hosted the World Series Champions the Washington Nationals at the White House on Monday, in a highly celebratory event on the South Lawn.
“America fell in love with Nats baseball, that’s all they wanted to talk about. That and impeachment,” Trump joked. “I like Nats baseball much more.”
The White House Marine Band played the team’s adopted rally song “Baby Shark” as soon as the players exited the South Portico and stood on the steps.
“I tell you what, that turned out to be a very, very powerful little tune,” Trump said, noting that player Gerardo Parra made it his walk-on song during the season after his two-year-old daughter loved it.
Thousands of Nationals fans filled the South Lawn, waving and cheering for their team – noticeably more fans than previous World Series championships. The White House revealed after the event that over 5,000 people attended.
“Just another record for the Nats,” Trump said about the crowd as he exited the White House.
The president recounted the Nationals’ incredible run, coming back from behind to win the championship.
“You reminded us all why baseball is truly America’s pastime, so great for the sport,” Trump said.
Trump joked that the Nationals also faced criticism from the media for their bad start.
“I’m sure the media was with you all the way, right?” Trump asked as the team manager and coach laughed. “I remember some nasty stories; boy did that change quickly, right?”
Trump invited several of the team’s biggest stars to the podium as he singled out their contributions to their winning season, including Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, Howie Kendrick, Aníbal Sánchez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Stephen Strausburg, Ryan Zimmerman, and pitcher Patrick Corbin.
“It’s just the stuff that you dream about,” Zimmerman said, calling it an “incredible honor” to be at the White House.
“I would like to thank you for keeping everyone safe in our country and continuing to make America the greatest country to live in in the world,” he said.
The mood on the South Lawn was celebratory, despite many Nationals fans booing the president when he attended game five of the series.
“We’re honored to be here in the long tradition of honoring champions in the White House,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said.
Zimmerman presented the president with a Trump-themed Nationals Jersey as a souvenir.
Catcher Kurt Suzuki also earned cheers when he whipped out a MAGA hat after taking the podium, earning a hug from the president.
“I love you all, thank you!” Suzuki said.
Trump recalled that the motto of the team’s season was “Stay in the fight!”
“That’s true about life,” he said. “You never know what will happen.”