Perhaps it’s not merely chance that the San Francisco Giants have won three World Series during Barack Obama’s presidency. The notion has at least one prominent adherent.
“I seem to be good luck for them,” the president joked as the team visited the White House Thursday to celebrate its third championship in five years.
The Giants stopped by for the traditional grip-and-grin with the commander-in-chief on their way to a weekend series versus the Philadelphia Phillies. This appearance was brief compared with the team’s last visit to Washington, when they set a Major League Baseball playoff record with an 18-inning game against the Nationals.
Giants’ Chief Executive Officer Larry Baer gave Obama a baseball base signed by the team.
“San Francisco’s been a pretty strong political area for you, wouldn’t you say?” Baer said to Obama, who was in San Francisco earlier this year to raise money for the Democratic National Committee. “So today we thought it was appropriate to bring your base to you.”
The Giants are trying to snap a five-game losing streak, including a sweep this week by the Pittsburgh Pirates. After winning the World Series, they lost star third baseman Pablo Sandoval to the Boston Red Sox in free agency. He didn’t come to the White House, and tonight’s starting pitcher Tim Lincecum also skipped the event.
Obama, a White Sox fan, has said he watches ESPN’s SportsCenter when he has time.
Visits to the White House by championship-winning sports teams date to the presidency of Andrew Johnson, who invited a baseball team, according to the White House Historical Association. President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s created the now-familiar tradition of a team standing behind the president for brief remarks before sharing souvenirs.
Giants greats and baseball Hall of Famers Willie Mays, 84, and Willie McCovey, 77, both accompanied the team to the White House and sat on stage next to Obama.
The Giants left their mobile phones untouched. When the Red Sox celebrated their World Series title last year with Obama, slugger David Ortiz made headlines by taking a selfie with the president that was later revealed to have been part of a Samsung Electronics Co. promotion.