Sports

The White House Apparently Can’t Spell “Red Sox”

It welcomed the "Red Socks" to celebrate the "2018 World Cup Series Champions" on Thursday.


President Donald Trump waves to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., to travel to Florida to visit with those affected by Hurricane Michael and attend a rally. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Come on.

Boston’s World Series-winning baseball team is heading to the White House today, for an already fraught visit to celebrate the championship. The name of that storied team, according to official communications from the office of the Commander in Chief? The Red Socks.

Yep, you read that right: Socks.

Photos posted online show the sacrilegious misspelling appeared in the title for a pending livestream of the Red Sox’ appearance in the nation’s capital, which is scheduled for 3:45 p.m., as well as in a list of the president’s upcoming events.

“President Trump Welcomes the 2018 World Series Champions the Boston Red Socks to the White House,” the messages read. Both have since been corrected.

The Red Sox has officially been the team’s name since 1908. The unusual—but one would think at this point, widely recognizable—three-letter spelling is a shortened version of an old nickname for the club, which once went by The Boston Red Stockings. Baseball historians will tell you “Sox” was preferable to newspaper headline writers at the time, because it took up less space on the page, and it stuck. You may not have known that (I myself learned it on a tour of Fenway this year). But whatever the backstory is, literally everyone in the United States knows that, in present day, it isn’t spelled “Socks.”

So, not starting the ceremonial meet-and-greet on exactly the right foot here. Of course, that was always going to be the case. Controversy has preceded the visit, with coach Alex Cora saying he would skip it in response to what he deems a lackluster response to the disaster in his native Puerto Rico. Nearly every player of color on the team has opted not to attend the event, leading Boston sportswriter Steve Buckley to quip that “basically it’s the white Sox who’ll be going.”

Or, I guess, White Socks.

Update: You’ve got to be kidding me: After the “Red Socks” visited with the president, the White House released a post-ceremony transcript to its website heralding the team as “2018 World Cup Series Champions” (it has since been fixed). Also, a statement shared by spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders misidentified MIT as the “Massachusetts Institution of Technology.” Can’t make this up.