Obama celebrates World Series champion Chicago Cubs

WASHINGTON, D.C. President Barack Obama is celebrating the World Series champion Chicago Cubs before he leaves office.

On what usually is a sleepy federal holiday at the White House, Cubs players filed into the White House East Room on Martin Luther King Day for Obama's final ceremony for a championship sports team. Even sweeter for Obama is that the Cubs hail from his hometown.

Obama recalled the massive city-wide celebration that took place days after the World Series win.

"Millions of people -- the largest gathering of Americans that I know of in Chicago -- and for a moment our home town becomes the very definition of joy. So in Chicago, I think it's fair to say you guys will be popular for a while," he told the team.

The president has a home in Chicago and is a White Sox fan. He rooted for the Cubs after the Sox failed to reach the playoffs.

"They said this day would never come," Obama said with a smile. "Here is something none of my predecessors ever got the chance to say: Welcome to the White House the World Series champion Chicago Cubs!"

Obama invited the Cubs hours after they won the series in November, asking on Twitter if the team wanted to visit before his term ends on Friday.

The Cubs won their first World Series title since 1908 by defeating the Cleveland Indians.

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After the event, the team is expected to visit patients at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which is near Washington, D.C.

We're continuing to follow this story throughout the day, and we'll bring you much more this evening starting with our 90 minutes of news at 5 p.m.