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Trump hosts World Series champ Houston Astros at White House

Last Updated Mar 12, 2018 1:16 PM EDT

President Trump welcomed the World Series champion Houston Astros to the White House on Monday after the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games to take home their first-ever World Series title. The Astros accepted the president's invitation in January.

During his remarks, Mr. Trump acknowledged the Astros edging out his former hometown team the New York Yankees to get into the World Series. "You guys were just a little bit tougher," he said.

He called game seven of the series "one of the greatest games anyone has ever seen" and said it was a "reminder why baseball is our national past time."

The Astros' win particularly hit home for a city which was still grappling with the devastating impacts from Hurricane Harvey. Players wore "H Strong" logos on their jerseys as they clinched the title. The president recognized the Astros organization for contributing to relief efforts following the storm, calling their win a "befitting tribute" to the spirit of Houston.

US-POLITICS-TRUMP-HOUSTON ASTROS

President Trump poses during an event in honor of 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros in the East Room of the White House on Mon., March 12, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Getty

At the White House ceremony, the president also recognized members of the "Cajun Navy", volunteers who helped rescue Harvey evacuees, as well as Jim McIngvale -- known as Mattress Mack -- who became a national symbol of hope in the wake of Hurricane Harvey after opening his furniture store as a refuge site for displaced residents.

Trump said his administration would continue to stand by Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico after a particularly hard hurricane season last year.

"Texas was incredible the way they recovered, it was a devastating hurricane," he said. "There's never been anything so bad and yet you recovered so incredibly well," the president added.

While Mr. Trump hailed their win as a team effort, he singled out several players, including Astros pitcher Justin Verlander as being a friend of his and said they've enjoyed a round of golf together. "I'm a pretty long hitter. This guy, he's a monster," Mr. Trump said of Verlander's golf game.

A team jersey is traditionally presented to the commander in chief to mark the occasion. Astros manager A.J. Hinch joked that the team decided not to present Mr. Trump a Speedo-style bathing suit but with a "Trump" jersey instead, which elicited a smirk and a few laughs from the president.

The president tweeted a highlight reel of the Astros' win back in November, congratulating them for "earning history."

In addition to members of the White House, Texas Republicans John Cornyn, Ted Cruz and Kevin Brady were all in attendance for Monday's special occasion. Mr. Trump called out Brady during the ceremony as being "the king of those tax cuts." He teased Sens. Cornyn and Cruz that the administration be looking to do a "phase two" of the tax cuts.

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital