President Barack Obama will welcome the World Series champion Chicago Cubs at the White House on Monday, just five days before he leaves office.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that Obama is “really looking forward to it,” as were a number of West Wing colleagues who are Cubs fans.
“I think anybody who’s a sport fan, even if you’re not a baseball fan and not a Cubs fan, appreciated the historic run that the Chicago Cubs had through the playoffs and to a World Series title this year,” Earnest said.
The president invited the Cubs shortly after they beat the Cleveland Indians in an extra-inning, Game 7 thriller to end a title drought that dated to 1908. Obama has a home in Chicago and is a fan of the White Sox, but he rooted for the North Siders since his favorite team didn’t make the playoffs.
Obama, a prominent sports fan, also hosted the Chicago Blackhawks after their three Stanley Cup championships since 2010, along with other championship teams from college and the U.S pro leagues.
Earnest said he was not aware of any unexpected challenges scheduling the visit so soon after the Cubs won the Series. He noted the visit comes earlier than normal. The Kansas City Royals won the Series in November 2015, but didn’t come to the White House until last July.
The visit will come five days before Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
Some members of the Cubs-owning Ricketts family hosted high-dollar fundraisers and donated millions to influence the presidential election. Most are Republicans who support Trump, who announced in November that Todd Ricketts was his pick as deputy commerce secretary. Last February, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said he found it “surreal” to see Trump “threaten” his mother on Twitter over her reported political contributions to an anti-Trump PAC.