The Houston Astros — or at least some members of the organization — will visit the White House in 2018 to celebrate their 2017 World Series championship. The club received an invitation from Donald Trump, and Astros team president Reid Ryan said they plan to accept, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“This is a tradition and an honor. For many people, this might be their only time to ever be invited to the White House,” Ryan said Wednesday in an interview with the Chronicle. “And as the representatives of baseball and the World Series champs, when the White House calls and invites you to come up, it’s something that as an organization we felt both a responsibility and an obligation to be part of.”
Under every other administration, this news wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy. But since Trump was elected, attending a championship ceremony has become a bigger question for teams.
The Chicago Cubs, for instance, made a point to visit the White House twice when they were World Series champions. Once when Barack Obama was president, and again when Trump moved into the White House.
The Golden State Warriors, however, declined to go. Actually, it’s more complicated than that. Star Stephen Curry said he would decline visiting the White House if invited. Trump then tweeted that the invitation was rescinded, which prompted Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James to call Trump a “bum.”
While Ryan has made it clear he will accept the invitation, that doesn’t mean every player on the team will attend. Manager A.J. Hinch sidestepped that question during the World Series, though a few players said they were on board at the time. George Springer, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. all said they would go to the White House if invited.
Most of the other players on the roster have not made their plans clear, but given the polarizing nature of the visit these days, they will likely be asked as soon as they report to camp.
They won’t have long after that until they have to make their decision. The club is planning to fit in a visit to the White House during spring training, according to the Chronicle.
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