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President Obama carried on the White House tradition of associating with winners Tuesday, welcoming baseball's Boston Red Sox to the executive mansion.

Quickly referencing the team's trademark facial hair, Obama said that "beards or no beards, it is an honor to welcome the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox."

Obama said the team, which rallied from a bad season in 2012 to win the title in 2013, symbolizes "the grit and resilience of one of America's iconic cities" through difficult moments.

Those include last year's bombing attack during the Boston Marathon and the recent tragedy that claimed the lives of firefighters.

The Red Sox have a national following, Obama noted, including White House staff members like photographer Pete Souza and press secretary Jay Carney. Obama joked that he is "surrounded" by Red Sox fans.

MORE: Big Papi takes a selfie with President Obama

Obama wished the Red Sox luck in 2014, but also held out hope for his own team, the Chicago White Sox.

"May the best Sox win," Obama proclaimed.

White House press secretary -- and ardent Red Sox fan -- Jay Carney celebrated by wearing his Boston cap to the daily briefing.

"Oh, it's a good, good day at the White House," Carney said.

Reminded that the Red Sox lost their opener to the Baltimore Orioles, Carney replied that "it's a long season, my friend."

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