Washington (CNN) - Chicago White Sox fan-in-chief President Obama honored the Boston Red Sox at the White House on Tuesday for their 2013 World Series championship, but he slipped in a quick plug for his hometown team while greeting the defending champs.
“Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox and Red Sox Nation. Good luck this season. May the best Sox win,” Obama said.
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Speaking just three weeks before the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, the President honored the team’s support for the victims of the attack.
“With every game they played, the sons of Fenway never forgot what it meant to wear the Boston uniform,” Obama said.
“When they visited bombing victims in the hospital, when they played ball with kids getting cancer treatment, when they started a program to help wounded warriors get treatment at Mass General - these guys were saying, we’re all on the same team.”
Looking out at the crowd, which was filled with White House officials and notable New Englanders, the President acknowledged that he’s slightly outnumbered as a Chicago fan in the current White House.
“I have to say, you all have some fanatical fans,” the President said, flanked by Red Sox players on the steps of the South Lawn. “And many of them occupy my administration and the White House. Look at my White House photographer - he’s been thinking about this day all week.”
Photographer Pete Souza sported a Red Sox cap for the occasion, along with several other members of the Obama Administration. Press Secretary Jay Carney showed his Boston pride alongside his family, as did Senior Advisor David Simas.
Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget Brian Deese, a Massachusetts native, was also in the audience, as was Senior Communications Advisor Tara McGuinness, also a Red Sox fan.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power tweeted a picture of her four-year-old son – sporting a Red Sox t-shirt – in the arms of Boston slugger David Ortiz at the White House reception held after the event.
Ortiz made a splash on Twitter earlier in the day by asking President Obama to take a "selfie" with his cell phone as the rest of the team prepared for the official team picture.
“What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie,” Ortiz wrote, posting the picture in a tweet that was quickly shared more than 18,000 times.
Former Obama Speechwriter Jon Favreau returned to the White House to be in the audience for his favorite team’s visit, and Assistant Press Secretary Matt Lehrich, also a Boston native, stood with the press to support the Sox.
Boston fandom was even bipartisan on Tuesday, as New Hampshire’s Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte shared a picture online of herself with Ortiz, and Speaker John Boehner’s Press Secretary, Michael Steel, turned up without his boss to cheer on the Sox.
Even one Boston celebrity made it out to the event. Actor and comedian Dennis Leary stood behind the crowd to see his team honored by the President.