Published: Tue, January 17, 2017
Culture | By Kelly Harrison

Chicago Cubs visit White House to celebrate World Series championship

Chicago Cubs visit White House to celebrate World Series championship

The Chicago Cubs visited the White House on Monday afternoon to celebrate their first World Series championship in 108-years. Cubs players filed into the White House East Room Monday for Obama's final ceremony for a championship sports team. After some light remarks, Epstein got serious and thanked the President for the dignity and integrity with which he served the United States over the past eight years.

As for the rest of the visit, the Cubs took some time to visit the White House before the ceremony. The Cubs' title was far more significant to other folks in the White House, including his wife, Obama acknowledged.

- "It took you long enough".

The Cubs' victory, over another long-suffering team - the Cleveland Indians - came only in the seventh and decisive game of the series, with drama building to the very end.

First Lady Michelle Obama is a lifelong Cubs fan, as both president Obama and Epstein noted.

"The Cubs know what it's like to be loyal and to persevere, and to hope and suffer, and then to keep on hoping", Obama said, before calling out the names of franchise greats like Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg, all of whom made the trip. Obama praised Cubs Manager Joe Maddon, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, team owners the Ricketts family and the team for their perseverance and historic win.

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Most of the Cubs players, including retired catcher and newly appointed special advisor David Ross and now-Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler were on hand, in addition to chairman Tom Ricketts, board members Todd Ricketts and Laura Ricketts, front office executives and on-field staff. "I nearly choked up listening to it, and it spoke to how people feel about this organization".

"Best swag I've gotten as President", President Obama said to the crowd.

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta will witness the inauguration of President Donald Trump, who he helped get elected. "It's more than just sports".

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"[Baseball] is a game, it is celebration, but there is a direct line between Jackie Robinson and me standing here", he said.

"Sports has the power to bring us together even when we are divided", he noted. "People view us as athletes as being Republican and only caring about lower taxes, which isn't the case", he said.

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