WASHINGTON (AP) — Visits to the White House have become as routine as Madison Bumgarner’s postseason dominance for the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants made their third visit to the White House in the last five years as President Barack Obama honored the team in the East Room on Thursday for their 2014 World Series championship. They defeated the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in the final game of a best-of-seven series in October.
“It seems like if they get in, they’ll probably win the championship,” Obama said jokingly. “They’ve got even-year magic, championship experience. I seem to be good luck for them.”
San Francisco won titles in 2010 and 2012 before its most recent championship. The last National League team to win three championships in five years was the St. Louis Cardinals between 1942 and 1946.
Obama made it a point to honor the team for their work off the field.
He said the team is partnering with San Francisco State University and Major League Baseball to build a multibillion-dollar youth academy with training facilities, classrooms, batting cages and baseball fields, calling it a “tremendous commitment from a tremendous team.”
He said the academy will offer tutoring, mentoring and college prep work. The president said it complements a program he started last year to help expand educational and other opportunities for boys and young men of color.
This season, the Giants are second in the National League’s Western Division with a 30-25 record. Their 2015 campaign continues on Friday night when they play the Phillies in Philadelphia.
“We have to make it an annual,” Giants’ CEO Larry Baer said of the White House visit, “so that we can come visit the president one more time.”