Champs Hailed At White House
Many Players Awed; Claim They'll Be Back

Trump addresses World Champions.
(c) Associated Press
Forget for the moment who was their host. Monday's victory celebration at the White House of their 2017 Worlds Championship was about one thing more than anything else - overcoming. The Cajun Navy, a hearty crew of Louisianans who rushed into flooded Southeast Texas with their boats to rescue and salvage whatever they could after Hurricane Harvey, were fitting guests at the ceremony.

Our Champion Astros finally arrived too. After 50+ years of watching news stories about other teams visiting the president at the White House, Houston's own got their first chance to experience what it was like. Many expressed awe. Many vowed to return, hopefully as 2018 World Champions.

The President noted he was a proud Yankees fan. Team owner Jim Crane is a vocal Obama fan and golf partner. Our two U.S. Senators were there. Each put aside any differences and kept the focus on the Astros and the great experience of seeing a community overcome and achieve something never done before. The players and club management also handled themselves with dignity as if they were representing more than individuals. They were representing Houston Strong. They were representing Major League Baseball and, inside, most probably felt glad to have a break from Spring Training to participate.

Josh Reddick presented President Trump with an Astros World Series jersey with his surname and the number "17" on the back. It was a nice departure from the stereotypical "1" on the Chief Executive's back.

Although no longer with the club, pitchers Luke Gregerson and Joe Musgrove attended. It gave them a chance to catch up with friends.

Some fans celebrate championships by starting riots, overturning cars and burning down whatever they can. Not Astros fan. They knew how long it took to get there and they handled the moment with class. Their team also knows how to handle a championship with class.

Before flying to Washington, the team battled to a 2-2 draw Saturday against the Nationals then spanked the Mets, 5-2, on Sunday to run their spring record to 12-5-2.

The ballclub returns to Port St. Lucie and Grapefruit action Tuesday, play home dates against the Cardinals and Nationals the following two days and close the work week with a night game against the New York Yankees.

- Bob Hulsey