Obama Congratulates White Sox Pitcher on Perfect Game, Claims Some Credit for the Milestone

Jul 23, 2009 5:57pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers, Jon Garcia and Rachel Martin report: Just minutes after pitching a perfect game, Chicago White Sox Mark Buehrle was pulled out of his post-game press conference to take a phone call from one very well-known fan.

On the line was President Obama, an avowed White Sox supporter, calling to congratulate Buehrle on throwing the 18th perfect game in major league history and the first since 2004.

On his way to the airport, to fly from Cleveland to his hometown of Chicago, Obama learned via email from a staffer back at the White House that the White Sox nailed down the final three outs in the ninth to clinch the milestone for Buerhle.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president told him, “As a fan it’s extraordinary. When you're a White Sox fan, and l know the guy who did it, makes it even more fun.”

Obama isn’t shy in showing off his loyalty to Chicago’s South Side squad. The president proudly wore a White Sox jacket when he threw out a ceremonial first pitch at the All-Star game in St. Louis last week.

"Everybody knows I'm a White Sox fan. My wife thinks I look cute in this jacket, so, between those two things, why not?" he explained during the game.

Obama told Buehrle that perhaps his choice of attire that night may have been the little extra bit of good luck the pitcher needed to complete what the president called an “unbelievable achievement.”

The president continued his compliments at a Chicago fundraiser where he proclaimed, "I guess today, everybody is a White Sox fan."

Even Cubbies fans were impressed, Obama said.

"I was up on the northside and all these Cubs fans were like 'what about that Buehrle?' And I said that's right. That was extraordinary."

 He said he spoke to Buehrle by phone from Air Force One. 

"I told him that he needed to buy a big steak dinner for that center fielder, (DeWayne) Wise because he saved that perfect game."

Buehrle's feat even beat good news on Wall Street.

"Somebody just asked me what's more exciting, that or the DOW going over 9000," Obama said. 

He chose the perfect game.

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