KANSAS CITY -- While meeting President Barack Obama and visiting the White House was to be a new experience for most of the Royals today, at least a few have had the honor previously.Royals manager Ned Yost, for example, was honored there as part of the Braves organization after the
KANSAS CITY -- While meeting President Barack Obama and visiting the White House was to be a new experience for most of the Royals today, at least a few have had the honor previously.
Royals manager Ned Yost, for example, was honored there as part of the Braves organization after the team won the 1995 World Series.
"We actually went in Spring Training the following year," Yost recalled. "It was really a fun trip. The thing I recall more than anything else is I kind of really figured out what a politician was. Bill Clinton made me feel like I'd known him forever in a two-minute conversation.
"I thought, 'That's what a politician is.'"
The Royals' visit began just before noon ET/11 a.m. CT. The ceremony, which was to take approximately an hour, is being streamed live on MLB.com and Royals.com.
Right-hander Edinson Vólquez also has been to the White House before. In 2005, when he was with the Rangers, Volquez got a visit as part of the Rookie Career Development Program, which is put on each year by MLB and the Players Association in Washington, D.C.
"They take two of the top prospects from each team and I was there with Ian Kinsler," Volquez said. "I got to shake hands with President [George W.] Bush. I was nervous, really nervous.
"But it was great. It was cool seeing everything. It's going to be better this time because we're being honored. I'm going to enjoy it. You don't win a World Series every year, so enjoy it when you can."
Right-hander Yordano Ventura was there in 2012 along with Wil Myers, now with the Padres.
The first-timers, too, were eager for the ceremony.
"I'm excited for it," second baseman Christian Colón said. "It's surreal, for sure. How many people get to do this, let alone get honored at the White House? Most people never get close to it. But we get in, get to bring a guest, and shake the president's hand.
"Seriously, you have to appreciate how great this will be. How many people get to do this? It's going to be great. Once in a lifetime."
But Colon was wary of one thing.
"I know Obama likes Chicago so hopefully he takes it easy on us," Colon said, smiling.
Yost actually will be meeting his fifth president -- Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Clinton were the others.
"Jimmy Carter would come to Braves games all the time," Yost said. "He loved Bobby [Cox]. He would come and sit in the dugout with us and we'd talk for 10-15 minutes all the time. That was pretty neat.
"But this is going to be really special. It's a great honor."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.