Normally, the reigning World Series champions don’t make the traditional visit to the White House until sometime during the following MLB season. But normally, those champions are not the Chicago Cubs, and normally the sitting president at the time of the triumph is not a Chicagoan who has just a couple of months left in office.
Thus the Cubs are set to break with tradition and make their White House on Monday, just in time to catch President Obama before his term ends four days later. Just hours after the team had broken its 108-year hex by defeating the Indians in November’s thrilling Game 7, Obama posted a tweet inviting the Cubs to visit him at his current address.
As Obama alluded to in his tweet, his loyalties lie with the South Side of Chicago, which is White Sox territory. But with the Cubs trying make a whole lot of Chicagoans extremely happy, the president joined in cheering on the longtime lovable losers.
Because MLB is in its offseason, it is not clear how many Cubs players will be able to make the trip to the White House, which was first reported by NBC Chicago, especially given the relatively short notice. However, the Chicago Sun-Times, citing a source, reported that a “significant majority” of the Cubs’ roster was ready to travel to Washington.
It is unlikely that noted Cubs superfan Bill Murray will join the team in meeting with Obama, but it can’t be ruled out. In October, while the team was battling the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series, Murray, who was in town to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, showed up at the White House wearing a Cubs hat and jacket and briefly commandeered the briefing-room podium.
While Kris Bryant and Co. are hurrying to make their White House visit before Donald Trump moves in, the Cubs’ co-owner, Todd Ricketts, is set to be a part of the new administration. Ricketts, who became a major Trump donor after initially incurring a threatening tweet by opposing the then-candidate, was tabbed by the president-elect to serve as deputy commerce secretary.
During Obama’s two terms, the Blackhawks had been the only Chicago team to visit him, although they put themselves in that enviable position three times by winning Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015.