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Obama Congratulates World Champion Giants On Return Trip To White House

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP/BCN) — President Barack Obama said the San Francisco Giants are making a “habit” of dropping in at the White House.

PHOTOS: Giants At The White House 2013

Obama welcomed the 2012 World Series champions Monday at a South Lawn ceremony honoring their victory and their community service work. The Giants swept the World Series in October, defeating the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in the final game after nearly being knocked out earlier in the playoffs.

The Giants faced elimination six times as they came back from a 2-0 deficit in the National League Division Series and a 3-1 hole in the National League Championship Series.

“It’s no wonder that San Francisco fans still refer to their games as torture,” Obama said.

He congratulated the Giants for earning a second trip to the White House so soon after the team’s 2010 World Series victory.

“They’re making this a habit,” Obama added.

The president said the Giants second title in three seasons was because of stellar pitching, defense and timely hitting. But Obama didn’t predict that finish. On the campaign trail last year, he anticipated a World Series between the White Sox and the Washington Nationals.

Obama also noted the Giants’ work in the community, citing their Junior Giants youth baseball program and the team being the first sports franchise to release an “It Gets Better” video to support LGBT youth.

“They represent their city proudly and do a great job at it,” he said.

The crowd of well-wishers included Giants Hall of Famer Willie Mays, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Obama also announced Monday that the team plans to install an edible garden behind the centerfield fence at AT&T Park next season, but joked that “it’s OK to have a hot dog every once in a while” at a game.

Team president and CEO Larry Baer said it was “really an honor” to be back at the White House and added, “We want to make this a regular occurrence.”

Baer pointed out that the Giants weren’t the only ones celebrating a second victory this past fall, referencing the president’s re-election in November, which occurred just days after the team’s World Series win.

Manager Bruce Bochy and catcher Buster Posey, who won the NL Most Valuable Player award last season, presented Obama with a signed bat and ball from the team.

The Giants made the visit to the White House in advance of a three-game series in Philadelphia starting Tuesday.

San Francisco has struggled this year in its bid to defend its title. The Giants are in last place in the NL West with a record of 46-58.

NOTES: Giants assistant GM Bobby Evans says the club will recall 1B Brett Pill and OF Roger Kieschnick on Tuesday, when the team opens a series at Philadelphia. To clear roster room, INF Tony Abreu was placed on the 15-day disabled list and OF Kensuke Tanaka was optioned to Triple-A Fresno.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco, the Associated Press and Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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