MLB

Biden Praises Braves’ ‘Unstoppable, Joyful Run’ To 2021 Win

Sep 26, 2022, 2:13 PM
President-Joe-Biden-White-House-Atlanta-Braves-MLB...
U.S. President Joe Biden poses with a jersey gifted to him by the Atlanta Braves as he welcomes the 2021 World Series champion team to the White House, September 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Braves defeated the Houston Astros in six games. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Monday the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way — from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Biden supported Major League Baseball’s decision to pull this summer’s All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law that critics contend is too restrictive.

MLB

Aaron Judge - Yankees 2...
Associated Press

Fan Who Caught Aaron Judge’s 62nd HR Offered $2M For Ball

The owner of a sports memorabilia auction house says he has offered $2 million to the fan who caught Aaron Judge's American League-record 62nd home run.
4 months ago
Aaron Judge - Yankees...
Stephen Hawkins

Yankees Star Judge Hits 62nd Homer To Break Maris’ AL Record

Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night, breaking Roger Maris' American League record and setting what some fans consider baseball's "clean" standard.
4 months ago
Albert-Pujols-St-Louis-Cardinals-Los-Angeles-Dodgers-700-home-runs...
Beth Harris, AP

Pujols Hits 700th Home Run, Joining Baseball Greats In Exclusive Club

Albert Pujols hits 700th home run, joining baseball greats Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth in exclusive club.
4 months ago
cj-cron-swings-bat...
Brian Preece

Instant Replay: Former Ute Hits MLB’s Longest Home Run Of Season

Former Utah first baseman C.J. Cron continued his career year with a titanic blast that landed more than 500 feet from home plate.
5 months ago
MLB-baseball...
Ronald Blum, AP

MLB Adopts Pitch Clock, Shift Limits, Bigger Bases for 2023

MLB adopted its first pitch clock, limits on defensive shifts and larger bases for 2023 in an effort to shorten games and increase offense.
5 months ago
bees-pitcher-michael-lorenzen-finishes-delivery...
Brian Preece

Bees Bullets: Rainiers Thump Salt Lake As Bees Can’t Score

The Bees anemic offense continues to struggle as they lose four of six games at home to fall into a third place tie with Tacoma.
5 months ago
Biden Praises Braves’ ‘Unstoppable, Joyful Run’ To 2021 Win