(WASHINGTON) — President Obama honored the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals at the White House on Tuesday, dubbing them “the greatest comeback team in the history of baseball.”
The Cardinals were 10-and-a-half games out of the playoff race last August, but rallied to win the National League wild card spot on the final day. In Game Six of the World Series, the Cardinals were twice within a strike of elimination before David Freese’s walk-off home run saved them in the 11th inning.
“I’ve got to say, that has to be one of the best baseball games of all time. Unbelievable game,” Obama said. “I will tell you guys, I had a bunch of early-morning stuff the next day, and you kept me up. It was painful waking up the next morning. But what an incredible game.”
The president, however, couldn’t help but make a pitch for his beloved hometown team.
“I won’t lie, I’m a little disappointed I had to leave my White Sox jacket in the closet for another year,” he said.
In addition to meeting the president and the first lady, the team also spent time on Tuesday visiting wounded troops and their families at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Notably absent from the day’s events, however, were retired Manager Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols, who has signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
The team also presented the Obamas with some Cardinals paraphernalia.
“I’m a little bit worried about giving my wife a bat, though,” the president joked. “If I mess up…”
Mrs. Obama quickly jumped in: “I’ll take my bat,” she responded to laughter from the crowd.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN
Jethro Mullen, Ravi Hiranand and Frank Pallotta, CNN