The Los Angeles Dodgers not only flew to the Nation’s Capital to face off against the Washington Nationals but finally got the chance to visit the White House as World Series Champions on Friday evening.
The Dodgers won their first World Series championship in 32 years last October and are the first professional sports team in the United States to be honored at the White House since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also the first team to visit the first White House since President Joe Biden took over the office.
According to Juan Toribio, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Thursday that the team would visit the White house during their 4-game series in Washington D.C. Prior to the Dodgers' 6-1 victory against the Nationals on Thursday night, the Dodgers had a clubhouse visit by Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff who is a lifelong Dodger fan.
Photo via Julio Cortez/Associated Press
During former President Donald Trump's term in the office, the 2016 Chicago Cubs, 2017 Houston Astros, 2018 Boston Red Sox, and even the 2019 Washington Nationals only had a limited number of team members visit the White House and multiple players decided to opt-out of the visit. Outfielder Mookie Betts who was part of that 2018 Red Sox team did not participate in the team's White House visit at that time. Now as a member of the Dodgers, Betts got to participate in the team's White House visit.
President Biden greeted the Dodgers as he says they are "a lot more than a baseball team, but a pillar of American culture." He also praised the defending World Series champs for having their home stadium used as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. President Biden also addressed 2020 as one of the challenging years of our lifetime and how we realized that we needed sports during the challenges the nation went through during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vice President Kamala Harris who is a lifelong fan of the Dodgers' archrival San Francisco Giants, even participated in the team's visit to the White House. In addition, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy were also honored in this visit.
Right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer who is currently on trial of allegedly assaulting a woman did not attend the event as he was denied for his sexual assault allegations. The team did state that only members of the 2020 World Series team would participate in the White House visit, Bauer was not part of the team until this season. On Friday, Bauer has been placed on a seven-day administrative leave by the league.
Prior to Sunday night's game against the Chicago Cubs at home, a video of Right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly trading his game jersey for a mariachi jacket went viral. Joe Kelly stole the show through social media as Justin Turner uploads a picture via Instagram of him and Kelly who wore that same mariachi jacket, he exchanged his jersey for at the team's White House visit.
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The Dodgers are looking forward to hopefully make another visit to the White House soon as World Series champions. For now, the Dodgers are hoping they become the first team to repeat as champions since the 2000 New York Yankees.
The four-game series continues tonight in Washington D.C. with the first pitch being at 4:05 p.m.