It has become tradition in recent years for championship sports teams to be honored with a ceremony with the President of the United States at the White House in Washington.
The Cubs will keep this going next Monday:
You all know that the Cubs hadn’t won the World Series since 1908 before they did it last November. At the time, when Theodore Roosevelt was President, there weren’t any such trips made. According to this espn.com article, the first visit by a World Series winner to the White House was in 1925, when the local team, the Washington Senators, who’d won the Series the previous year, were hosted by President Calvin Coolidge. The article does note some other baseball teams that were hosted for presidential visits in the 19th Century.
That espn.com article also details some of the years when teams in other sports first got White House visits, and mentions that it was President Ronald Reagan who made this a “regular occurrence.” It’s a fascinating bit of history.
President Barack Obama, who adopted Chicago as his hometown, is known to be a big White Sox fan. But in this case, it appears his Chicago pride was bigger than his Sox fandom in inviting the Cubs to be his guests during his final days in office.
Among other recent presidents, George W. Bush was known to be a big baseball fan -- in fact, as you likely know, he was a part-owner of the Texas Rangers from 1989 to 1998. His father, George H.W. Bush, was frequently spotted in the front row behind the plate at Astros games in Houston.
The Cubs will have a busy schedule beginning today. Many of the players will be joining the annual Cubs Caravan, which will be appearing at Joe Maddon’s “Thanksmas Dinner” at 4 p.m. today at The Salvation Army Freedom Center, 825 N. Christiana, and then at various Chicago schools, firehouses and Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge tomorrow. Then they’ve got the Cubs Convention this weekend before the White House visit Monday.
After that it’ll be less than a month before spring training begins and they’ll begin the work of defending that World Series title.