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President Barack Obama was very much the suffering Chicago White Sox fan on Monday when the New York Yankees visited the White House to be honored for winning the World Series championship in 2009. That crown was the team’s 27th, by far the most in Major League Baseball.

The team that comes second, the St. Louis Cardinals, has only 10 titles.  And Obama’s favorite White Sox have won only three times, most recently in 2005, and that was their first championship since 1917.

Obama was a gracious host to the New Yorkers. He praised their history and the character of the team’s players.

“Being successful in New York doesn’t come easy, and it’s not for everybody.  It takes a certain kind of player to thrive in the pressure cooker of Yankee Stadium -– somebody who is poised and professional, and knows what it takes to wear the pinstripes.  It takes somebody who appreciates how lucky he is, and who feels a responsibility for those who are less fortunate,” Obama said. He praised two of the players in particular, Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada, for their charity work, and a third, Derek Jeter, who was named the U.S. sportsman of the year for 2009 by Sports Illustrated magazine. The team visited wounded U.S. troops at hospitals near Washington before coming to the White House.

“This is a team that goes down to spring training every year expecting to win it all — and more often than not, you guys get pretty close,” Obama said.