Northwestern baseball ended up being a very bright spot in an otherwise awful day for Chicago sports. April 20th was a rough one for the local sports fan. First of all, pretty much every event took place at night, and around the same time. So as a sports media consumer you had tough choices.
And then the local teams were as hot as the weather. The Bulls got utterly DESTROYED by the Brooklyn Nets in game one of their NBA playoff series. The Blackhawks and White Sox both put up a fight, but lost in extra time.
Luke Farrell is a Northwestern starting pitcher, and the son of Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell.
Just mere hours after Farrell the Elder led Boston to a 4-3 win over Kansas City, his team’s first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings, subsequent metropolitan lock-down and bombing suspect apprehension, Farrell the Younger threw a complete game shut out over the Michigan Wolverines.
Luke Farrell, a Cape Cod League veteran, allowed just 3 hits in his nine innings; striking out nine and walking none. In addition to being one of the better pitchers in the Big Ten, Farrell has a tremendous backstory of overcoming adversity. And I mean real adversity, not the cliched “adversity” you always hear in coachspeak and from player press conferences.
Before the Northwestern baseball game tonight, Luke drew a B in the back of the Wrigley Field mound reminding him that this was just a game and to maintain proper perspective.
“We have a lot of people from our department who are in Boston, Steve Green who oversees baseball is from there, obviously Luke’s family is there with the Red Sox and there’s a lot of others,” Northwestern manager Paul Stevens said.
“Our thoughts and prayers, God bless and we just hope that everything works out well for them,” he added.
I asked Luke postgame where he was and how he reacted when he heard the news that Boston bombing suspect #2 was apprehended.
“I was just at home, I think I was more relieved than anything,” the Northwestern hurler said.
“Let those people get back to living their normal lives and hopefully, let things get back to normal. Unfortunately, that’s not possible for those victims, but there’s a ton of people everywhere saying prayers for those people."
Farrell got the opportunity to pitch, and win, at Wrigley due to the University and the ballclub joining forces.
In February, Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs announced a multi-year reciprocal marketing partnership that will enable Northwestern to play at Wrigley Field in upcoming years; multiple sports including baseball, lacrosse and five Northwestern college football games.
Everyone in America was in the same fraternity as the Boston Red Sox today. On the south side, the White Sox played the Red Sox signature song of uplift, Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” during the seventh inning stretch (video).
Diamond himself came to Fenway Park to lead the sing-a-long while the Farrell family was winning on the baseball diamond. So it was a really uplifting day for the Farrell family. And a great one for Northwestern athletics.
But just kind of…well…"hey, there’s always tomorrow” for the rest of Chicago sports.
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