The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to become the first professional sports team to visit the Joe Biden White House.
The 2020 World Series Champions are traveling to Washington D.C. next weekend and are “hopeful” that they will be able to visit the White House during that trip.
“I’ve heard rumblings that it’s going to happen,” said Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts before Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium. “We’re pretty hopeful that it’s going to happen.”
The Los Angeles Lakers, also champions of the National Basketball Association, tried to visit the White House in April when they played the Washington Wizards, but ultimately had to cancel their visit because of COVID-19 protocols and a scheduling conflict with the President. Breaking precedent with his predecessor, Donald Trump, Biden formally invited the Lakers for a visit earlier in the year.
As of now, the Dodgers are expected to travel to Washington D.C. on Wednesday, after completing a night game against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.
It’s more than likely that the visit to the White House would happen before the team’s game on Thursday evening at Nationals Park scheduled for 7:05 PM EST.
Roberts indicated that not everyone on the team would be allowed to attend the White House visit, as there are still health and safety protocols within the White House itself.
“It has been very difficult,” said Roberts about trying to schedule and plan the visit with the White House. “Obviously, correspondence with the White House, they’ve got a lot of important things going on, so the Dodgers have done a great job trying to figure it out for the players, the staff and coaches. We still don’t have complete finality, but I know that I’m personally excited if the opportunity presents itself. I think our coaches and players are as well.”
Roberts specifically mentioned how excited he is to meet not only President Biden, but Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman vice president in United States History.
“I’d love to meet her,” said Roberts. “But it’s an honor, something that any champion gets that opportunity—or most champions that win the world championship get that opportunity, so it’s something that I’ve always dreamt about.”
Roberts won his first World Series Championship as a player with the Boston Red Sox in 2004, but was traded in December of that year to the San Diego Padres and was not with the team when they visited the White House in March of 2005.
The Washington Nationals, winners of the 2019 World Series were the last MLB team to visit the White House, when former President Trump hosted several members of the team in November of that same year. That visit was extremely controversial as Nationals’ catcher Kurt Suzuki donned a “Make America Great Again” hat and was awkwardly hugged from behind by former President Trump.
The Dodgers will face the Nationals in a four-game series Thursday-Sunday at Nationals Park.
Source: NBC Los Angeles