You can never tell when you might see something magical at a baseball game. It might be a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth (here and here) or a home run in the thirteenth. Or even a pop fly that isn’t caught.
There was one of those moments in the sixth inning at Wrigley Field last night. The Cubs have had some success bringing up rookies over the last couple of years. Last night was Willson Contreras’s turn. Willson is the Cubs’ top catching prospect, and he was going gangbusters at Iowa (the Cubs’ Triple A farm team). The Cubs brought him up to the majors last Friday. He didn’t get to bat on Friday, but he did catch the ninth inning. In fact, fans started cheering for him when they saw him go out to catch even before he was announced. Impressive.
The standing ovation he got before he batted, however, was nothing compared with what happened next. Because, on the first pitch he ever saw in the major leagues, Willson Contreras hit a two-run home run into the center field bleachers. Wrigley Field almost exploded. The people who were standing before he batted stayed standing, cheering like crazy. Demanding that Willson take a curtain call for his first major league at bat. It was amazing. And since it drove in the Cubs’ fifth and sixth runs of the game, and the Pirates wound up scoring five, it helped the Cubs win the game.1
You never know when you are going to see something for the ages at a baseball game. So you go, and sometimes you do. Like last night at Wrigley Field.
1 Willson’s home run was the seventh time a Cubs player hit a home run in his first major league at bat and only the second time it was done on the first pitch. (The other was by Jim Bullinger in 1992). It was the 30th home run in major league history on a player’s first pitch.