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Biden hosts World Series champion Atlanta Braves at White House

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U.S. President Joe Biden welcomed the 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves to the White House on Monday. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/51dc02502cbe85d18e3c36e236bd92a3/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. President Joe Biden welcomed the 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves to the White House on Monday. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden welcomed the Atlanta Braves to the White House Monday to commemorate the team's 2021 World Series championship.

The president gathered with the players and coaches shortly after noon in the East Room.

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"Welcome to the White House, 2021 World Champion Atlanta Braves!" Biden said.

"I married a Philly girl and she's smarter than I am and she's a hell of a lot better looking and like every Philly fan, she's convinced she knows more about sports than anybody else in any other city."

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Biden joked that he had "to be careful about how nice I am to these guys today."

The president added that Atlanta is "a great sports city" and that the Braves are "a great reason for that."

"This team has literally been a part of history for over 150 years, the only franchise to field players in every single season since pro baseball began in 1870," Biden said.

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Biden added that the team is "defined by the courage of Hank Aaron," the record-setting Hall of Famer who spent 21 seasons with the Braves in Milwaukee and Atlanta.

"Hank Aaron shattered a lot of records but he shattered them in racism as well, with dignity and class," Biden said.

Biden highlighted how the Braves had a rough start to the 2021 season.

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"The franchise never quit, they never gave in. You rebuilt the whole outfield practically overnight. Play by play, you ground it out and you did it together," Biden said.

"You beat the Dodgers and then you beat the Astros to win it all, forever known as the upset kings of October. One of history's greatest turnarounds."

Biden added that the success of the Braves proves what Hank Aaron once said, "There's no shortcut in life. You have to take it one step at a time, work hard and you have to give back."

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The president then praised the team for its charitable initiatives, including helping feed the hungry and supporting veterans.

"Bringing people together and inspiring us to do better by your example," Biden said.

"That's sports, that's America and that's why I'm honored to host the 2021 Braves at here at the White House. Congratulations."

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The annual White House tradition this year took advantage of the Braves being in town for a three-game series with the Washington Nationals.

Terry McGuirk, chairman of the Atlanta Braves, said the team was "thrilled" to be at the White House.

"They played an extra-innings game last night. We got in hours late from doing a lot of traveling, you cannot believe at this point in the season how tired they are," McGuirk said.

"They won 8-6 in the 11th inning of the game last night. As the president says, this group never quits."

"It'll be a great experience. We're world champions, and we get to go to the White House," Braves manager Brian Snitker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ahead of the meeting. "That's kind of something special to get to tour and experience that. I think it'll be something I'll remember the rest of my life."

So far, team visits to the Biden White House have lacked any of the political controversies that vexed the occasions during the tenure of President Donald Trump, who once called on his supporters to "boycott baseball" when the MLB moved last year's All-Star game out of Atlanta in protest of Republican efforts to rewrite Georgia's election law.

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With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Braves are locked in a fierce battle with the Mets for first place in the NL East, setting up a critical three-game series between the division rivals later this week in Atlanta.

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