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The Houston Astros visited the White House and President Donald Trump on Monday to celebrate their 2017 World Series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“This is a hell of a team,” Trump said during his comments, per Daniel Gotera of KHOU-TV.
“The Astros victory for the ages was truly a team effort,” he added, per Fox News.
He also praised manager A.J. Hinch.
“You’ve become very famous,” he said, per Gotera. “You did a great job of skippering.”
Trump also praised the Astros for persevering in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, calling their title “a befitting tribute… really a show of world spirit and ‘Houston Strong,'” per ABC News.
Two of the lighter moments in the ceremony came when Trump was discussing Justin Verlander’s golf game and Hinch noted the team abstained from gifting Trump with a Speedo, per David Nakamura of the Washington Post:
David Nakamura @DavidNakamura
I’ve not often seen @Potus smile sincerely and heartily as he did when Astros manager @ajhinch joked that the team decided not to present Trump a Speedo. https://t.co/qBxms69nZ5
The Astros posted the full ceremony on their Twitter account:
Houston Astros @astros
Watch live as the World Series Champion #Astros are honored at the White House! https://t.co/GbC1QXSHKS
The entire team wasn’t in attendance, however. Three Astros players skipped the ceremony: Superstar Carlos Correa, retired outfielder Carlos Beltran and pitcher Francis Martes, according to Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle
Both Correa and Beltran are from Puerto Rico, and while Beltran maintained in the past he wasn’t skipping the event due to President Trump, he has said he’s been disappointed with the White House’s response—or lack thereof—to the devastating hurricane that ravaged Puerto Rico in 2017.
“We’re very disappointed in the government that we haven’t gotten the same benefits,” he said in February, per Wallace Matthews of the New York Times. “Being a part of the United States, you expect at least to be treated the same way when tragedies like this happen.”