Fresh off their baseball World Series win and a victory parade through the U.S. capital city, the Washington Nationals visited the White House Monday, where they were welcomed by President Donald Trump.
"America fell in love with Nats baseball. They just fell in love with Nats baseball. That's all they wanted to talk about," Trump said. "That and impeachment. I like Nats baseball much more."
Members of the team, wearing suits, were introduced to the crowd gathered on the South Lawn as the children's song "Baby Shark" was played by the Marine band. The song was originally used earlier this season as a walk-up song by outfielder Gerardo Parra. The home crowd began joining in and other National players started making "baby shark" motions with their fingers or arms after getting on base.
Trump paid tribute to many of the players and invited some to speak to the crowd, including pitcher Max Scherzer, outfielder Juan Soto and catcher Kurt Suzuki, who donned a "Make America Great Again" hat when he got to the podium.
At least one player declined the invitation to the White House ahead of Monday's event. Relief pitcher Sean Doolittle told the Washington Post, “There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country."
Also absent was one of the team's best players, third baseman Anthony Rendon.
The Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 last Wednesday in the deciding seventh game of the World Series to claim their first Major League Baseball championship in franchise history.
The series made history in an odd way with the visiting team winning each of the seven games. Washington won games one, two, six and seven in Houston, while Houston won games three, four and five in Washington.