LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Former University of Louisville and Kentucky Country Day star Will Smith got his on-the-field celebration when Los Angeles Dodgers won the 2020 World Series last October.
Smith got his World Series ring at the start of the 2021 season.
On Friday, Smith, the team’s starting catcher, got the next piece of the celebration when the Dodgers visited the White House, where they were honored by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
"The Dodgers are a lot more than a baseball team, they really are," Biden said. "They're a pillar of American culture and American progress, and that's for real.
“The team that brought us the voice of Vin Scully and the arms of Sandy Koufax and Fernando Valenzuela ... and above all else, the heart of Jackie Robinson.”
The Dodgers were the first professional sports team to visit the White House since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the first since President Biden took office in January.
Smith, 26, is in his third big-league season after he excelled at Louisville and KCD, prompting the Dodgers to select him in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He had a home run and scored four runs as the Dodgers defeated Tampa Bay in six games in the World Series, which was played at a neutral site in Arlington, Texas because of the pandemic.
This season Smith is slashing .263/.364/.474 with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs. The Dodgers were in Washington D.C. to play the Nationals. LA beat the Nationals, 10-5, Friday night.
They’ve won seven straight games. With a 51-31 record, L.A. trails the San Francisco Giants by a half-game in the National League West as they try to repeat.
Smith’s teammate, pitcher Clayton Kershaw, spoke for the team at the event.
"Last season was a special one for us, but it was also a challenging one for our country," he said. "Our hope is that we were able to provide just a little bit of joy and comfort and relief for our fans that were going through some tough times.
“This season it's been incredible to have fans back in the ballpark. We missed their energy and their passion for the game and it means so much to us that people are coming back to the ballpark and things around the country are going back to normal.”
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