By now most of you have heard about the historic game played at Wrigley Field last night and early this morning. The Cubs won it in the 16th inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Starlin Castro. It was the longest game, in terms of hours and minutes (not innings), in Cub history, clocking in at 6 hours and 27 minutes.
You can read the details almost anywhere, including a fun Chicago Insider blog that follows some very entertaining tweets to narrate the game.
Here's an almost equally fun side story concerning a certain Cub fan who lives in Brooklyn.
Last Saturday Grandson of Admin (aka Son of Daughter of Admin, and aka GSoA) arrived in Chicago with his two sisters and mom for a week's vacation with Admin relatives living in Chicago and Indiana. Grandson of Admin, age 6, is a huge Cub fan, as are his siblings, aunts, uncle, mother, grandparents etc. He even made his own Cub shirt in spite of being surrounded by Yankee and Mets fans.
When he arrived he immediately wanted to talk baseball. It went something like this.
Admin: Who's your favorite Cub?
Grandson of Admin: I have 4.
Admin: Who are they? Rizzo was your favorite a few weeks ago when we were in Brooklyn with you.
GSoA: Castro, Rizzo, Bonifacio, and Baker.
Admin: Baker? You mean John Baker the backup catcher?
GSoA: He's awesome!
Admin: I see. That's a bit unusual.
GSoA: He's awesome!
We went to Monday night's game against the Rockies. As luck would have it, all 4 of GSoA's favorite Cubs played, with Baker behind the plate and Bonifacio playing 3rd in a lineup move that looked a little dubious to us. Nonetheless, all 4 players got hits. Unfortunately, GSoA missed the Cubs big 8th inning when 3 out of 4 got important hits to pad the Cubs tenuous one-run lead. Still on EDT, it was way past his bedtime and so he slept peacefully in his grandmother's lap, confident in the Cubs inevitable victory.
And then there was last night. We all fell asleep at home long before the 1:30-or-so a.m. last out of the game. But when GSoA woke up, I greeted him with this news:
Admin: Cubs won in the 16th inning.
GSoA: What the heck?
Admin: Guess who the winning pitcher was?
GSoA: Don't know.
Admin: John Baker.
GSoA: What the heck? He's a catcher!
Admin: They ran out of pitchers they could use and they knew he had some experience pitching in college.
Admin: Guess what else?
GSoA: What else?
Admin: He scored the winning run!
GSoA: YES!! (insert 2 big fist pumps here) He's awesome!
One thing's for sure, Baker is now a Cub legend. At worst he'll be the answer to a trivia question or two. They may include highlights from the 16th inning in the video they play on the video boards before each game.
And although there were only a few hundred fans left in the seats to witness Baker's heroics on the mound and base paths in the 16th, in a decade or so at least 100,000 fans will claim to have been there for the whole game. But few can honestly claim John Baker as a favorite Cub.
Only GSoA, and no doubt some Baker family members and friends.
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