Politics pushed aside as Cubs chairman awaits visit to White House

Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

Chairman Tom Ricketts downplayed any suspicions regarding the timing of the Cubs' invitation to the White House on Monday -- four days before President-elect Donald Trump is to take office.

"Once we got invited, it was a scheduling thing for a while," Ricketts said Wednesday, confirming President Barack Obama invited the team shortly after the Cubs won the World Series on Nov. 2.

"We left it up in the air for a few weeks. But once you get invited, you go. That's it. There's no other way around it. I don't care where you live or who you voted for, whatever. It's an honor to just be involved."

There had been some speculation the Cubs' visit might be delayed until after Trump's inauguration, especially because Todd Ricketts, a Cubs board member and brother of Tom, is expected to be part of Trump's cabinet as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce.

"Who knows what will happen in the future, but we're excited about Monday," Ricketts said.

The Cubs' annual convention, which starts Friday and runs through Sunday, made it easy for several players to gather and travel to Washington. Ricketts said nearly all of the players are expected to attend.

"It's a real honor, and how many times in your life do you get that invite?" Ricketts said. "So hopefully it's an annual thing for us, that White House visit. But we're going to appreciate this one."

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