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Biden hosts 'upset kings of October' Atlanta Braves

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday declared the Atlanta Braves would be "forever known as the upset kings of October," for their improbable 2021 world series win, calling the series an "unstoppable, joyful run." Biden welcomed the team for a packed East Room ceremony, getting in their White House victory visit with just over a week before the 2022 regular season wraps up and playoffs begin again. The Braves are just two wins behind first place in the National League East. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they'd be back to the White House again soon. In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500 and were no one's pick for the off-season. But then something happened - they started winning. And they kept doing it, clinching the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros. Biden called their come-from-behind win one of "history's greatest turnarounds." "This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years," said Biden. "But none of it came easy ... people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out." The room was packed to honor the team, including a front-row seat for Mayor Andre Dickens of Atlanta and former mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who now works for the Biden administration. Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn't been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hank Aaron. Hammerin' Hank was the homerun king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a high flier to centerfield in April 8, 1974. He was the Braves most famous player, and one of the most famous in baseball history, an vocal and clear-eyed chronicler of the many hardships thrown his way — from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the ugly, racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America's most hallowed records. He died in January at age 86. McGuirk said that Aaron, who held front office roles with the team, including the senior vice president, after his retirement, was watching over them. "We still think we had a special angel looking over us, having our recently passed friend, Hank Aaron, pulling the strings from on high," he said." There was no question Hank was a part of what we did and he'd have been there every step of the way with us if he was here."

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