World Series Champs Astros to Accept Invitation to Visit White House

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2018

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 03:  George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros points toward Jose Altuve #27 during the Houston Astros Victory Parade on November 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  The Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 to win the 2017 World Series.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Astros plan on traveling to the White House in Washington, D.C., to celebrate their World Series championship, Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan said Wednesday. 

"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, per the Houston Chronicle's Jake Kaplan. "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."

Ryan added that while the Astros haven't formally set a date for their trip to the nation's capital, they're looking into doing the celebration during spring training.

The Astros don't play the Washington Nationals in interleague play in 2018, and their only series in Baltimore with the Orioles starts Sept. 27, which is their final series of the regular season.

World Series MVP George Springer told reporters in November he'd be open to traveling to the White House:

"That's the most historic place in our country, it stands for a lot, it means a lot to a lot of people. If the team goes I'm going. I'm not going to say no. I understand the impact of it. ... I understand the stuff that's been happening. Yes there are things that have to change but there are always things that have to change. There isn't anything that is ever going to be perfect. If the team goes I'll go."

Beginning with Ronald Reagan's presidency, it has become customary for the major sports champions in the United States to make a pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. Since President Donald Trump assumed office, however, the tradition has lost steam.

The Cleveland Cavaliers moved up their White House visit so as to celebrate with Barack Obama before Trump was inaugurated. The next year, Trump withdrew his invitation to the Golden State Warriors after Stephen Curry said he didn't intend on going.

A number of New England Patriots, including Tom Brady, Martellus Bennett and LeGarrette Blount, decided against joining the team when it celebrated its Super Bowl LI win last April.

Although they had a formal celebration with Obama last January, the Chicago Cubs made a second trip to the White House in June in honor of their most World Series title.

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