Kirsters Baish| Back in 1924, the Washington Senators were honored by Calvin Coolidge with a visit to the White House. Ever since, championship winning teams have been invited to visit the President in Washington. The celebratory visits have become somewhat of a tradition since former President Ronald Reagan was in office.
However, there has been much debate and controversy about the celebratory visits since Donald Trump took his seat in office. While most teams have graciously accepted their invites, such as the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New England Patriots, and the Clemson Tigers football team, there have been a few who made the call not to go to the White House due to personal issues with President Trump himself. Teams such as the Golden State Warriors made the call not to visit the White House after having been invited.
The Houston Astros beat out the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2017 World Series, and were sent an invitation by President Trump to come for a visit. They made their official announcement about their decision on Wednesday. The Houston Astros will indeed be visiting the White House.
The Astros’ president of business operations, Reid Ryan, spoke to the Houston Chronicle and stated, “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 went on, “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.”
While the Astros have accepted the invitation, they have not yet scheduled a time for the visit to occur.
The Astros recently received their formal invitation to visit the White House this year, team president Reid Ryan said today. Because they don't make their trip to Baltimore to play the Orioles until the final series of the season, they may go to DC during spring training.
— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) January 3, 2018
The team will not be playing the Washington Nationals this season, and they won’t be making their way to the Washington D.C. area until they are set to play the Baltimore Orioles towards the end of September. This could mean a trip to visit President Trump during Spring Training.
After winning the World Series, multiple players on the Astros were too excited to hide their feelings about being given the honor and the opportunity to visit the White House.
George Springer stated, “That’s the most historic place in our country, it stands for a lot, it means a lot to a lot of people. 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.”
One of the Astros’ younger players, Alex Bregman, had something to say about the matter as well. He was quoted saying, “I’m going to do whatever Carlos Beltran and Carlos Correa do,” as he gestured to the team’s leaders.
The Houston Astros will be the second World Series champs to pay a visit to the White House during the time that the Trump administration has been in office. The Chicago Cubs visited twice last season. One of the times was while Barack Obama was still in office, and the second time was when Trump was in office.
If the team goes during Spring training, it could work out in their favor. It wouldn’t be as big of a distraction as if it would be if they were to go in the middle of a season.
It’s great to see this group of fine young men accepting President Trump’s invitation to come for a visit. After all, it is truly an honor that anyone would be silly to turn down.