The Cubs have accepted President Barack Obama’s White House invitation and will go to Washington next week as part of their World Series victory tour.
Two sources confirmed the decision – first reported by NBC Chicago – before Obama’s farewell address on Tuesday night at McCormick Place.
The team will visit the Oval Office on Monday, which coincides with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the end of Cubs Convention weekend, the only obvious offseason time where it would be logistically possible to coordinate so many players’ schedules.
This also negates a photo opportunity with Donald Trump, who plans to install Cubs board member Todd Ricketts as his deputy secretary of commerce after the Jan. 20 inauguration.
Obama, the world’s most famous White Sox fan, made the offer over Twitter and called Cubs manager Joe Maddon from Air Force One after the franchise won its first championship since 1908.
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A surreal season began in spring training with Trump cryptically threatening the Ricketts siblings over Twitter – Pete is the Republican governor of Nebraska while Laura is active in Democratic politics and backed Hillary Clinton – and telling The Washington Post editorial board that the family has done a “rotten job” running the team.
Either way, the Cubs would be making a political statement after a bruising and polarizing election that saw the billionaire Ricketts family flip-flop from bankrolling an anti-Trump Super PAC to fundraising for the Republican nominee and ultimately grabbing a Cabinet position.