Why the Cubs decided to take a second trip to the White House

The Chicago Cubs are making up for lost time. For 108 years, the team watched as other clubs celebrated their World Series titles with a White House ceremony. After waiting so long to finally accomplish that goal, the Cubs decided one trip wasn’t enough.

The Cubs will visit the White House again on Wednesday. The team is currently in D.C. playing the Washington Nationals, and will make the appearance before their series ends Thursday.

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So, why do the Cubs deserve a second trip to the White House when other championship clubs only go there once? Well, this isn’t exactly an official visit. The idea came together rather quickly, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat.

The team’s first trip to the White House was also rushed. The team visited before President Barack Obama left office. That was the official championship ceremony. Wednesday’s trip doesn’t sound as formal.

In fact, some members of the club aren’t obligated to show up. Attendance is not mandatory for the players.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon will make the trip. He was asked by Congressman Lou Barletta, who grew up with Maddon in Pennsylvania, to speak at a luncheon with the young Republicans. Barletta mentioned a White House trip was possible after that event, and it appears he came through on that promise.

Maddon said he would attend the White House out of respect to the Cubs owners, the Ricketts family.

He’ll be joined by first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who told the Chicago Sun Times he would go, but his appearance isn’t meant to be a political gesture.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo said, “I’m going because it’s the United States of America and I’d rather not (be) anywhere else but this country. There’s no political ties. It’s the White House.”

Reliever Pedro Strop has already decided he will not make the trip.

Joe Maddon and Anthony Rizzo will return to the White House on Wednesday. (AP Photo)

It’s unclear whether President Donald Trump will be there. The team has not been guaranteed they’ll be able to meet with the president. Maddon only said “it’s a possibility.”

The Ricketts family has an interesting history with Trump. Trump threatened to expose the family’s secrets after he found out they had spent money on anti-Trump ads when he was seeking the Republican nomination. A few days later, Tom Ricketts spoke about that decision, saying “we stand up for what we believe in.”

In March, Trump considered running an ad attacking the Ricketts for doing a “rotten job” running the Cubs. The Cubs won the World Series a few months later.

In that time, the relationship mended. After Trump won the Republican nomination, the Ricketts donated $1 million to his campaign. Once elected, Trump even attempted to put Todd Ricketts on his cabinet. Ricketts had to withdraw his name after he was unable to “untangle his complex financial holdings to the satisfaction of the Office of Government Ethics,” according to the Sun Times.

During the Cubs’ first trip to the White House, noted Chicago White Sox fan President Barack Obama surprised everyone by saying he enjoyed the team’s postseason run. Will Trump do the same now that he’s made amends with ownership, or will he remain loyal to his first-place New York Yankees?

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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