CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs couldn’t say no to the president.
With just days left in Barack Obama’s administration, the team accepted his invitation to be honored at the White House on Monday, a day after the team completes its annual fan convention in Chicago.
“When you get invited to go to the White House, you say, ‘Yes,'” team owner Tom Ricketts said Wednesday evening. “We’re excited. It’s a plus that President Obama is a Chicagoan — although he’s a Sox fan.”
Ricketts’ brother, Todd, will be part of the next administration, as he was named Deputy Commerce Secretary by President-elect Donald Trump, but that didn’t sway the team to delay their visit.
Soon after the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years, President Obama called manager Joe Maddon from Air Force One and immediately invited him to Washington before his term was up. It will be Maddon’s third visit to the White House but first as World Series-winning manager.
“He’s a good sport,” Maddon said.
As Ricketts added, “Once you get invited you go. I don’t care where you live or who you voted for, it’s an honor to just be involved.”
Ricketts is hopeful to see his brother in Washington after future seasons, as once again the Cubs are favorites to return to the Fall Classic.
“Hopefully, it’s an annual thing for us, but we’re really going to appreciate this one,” Ricketts said. “You don’t know how many times in your life you’ll get that opportunity.”
Ricketts indicated almost the entire team will make the trip, though there might be a couple of players with scheduling conflicts.