I am not going to pretend in the slightest that I knew David Bote was going to be an essential part of the Chicago Cubs roster this season. Hell, I didn’t know David Bote existed on opening day. No clue. Never heard of him. If you would have introduced me to him at the bar this spring and told me he was a member of the Cubs, I would have asked what department he worked in; marketing? no wait, accounting. David Bote is the name of an accountant. Bote, looking at me as I called him a bore, (accounting is a respectable profession, but I don’t know many that would pass the elevator test) would simply shrug and explain he was actually a Cubs player, or, more correctly, that he was toiling away in the minors out in Iowa, waiting to be called up.
I would like to think that Bote wouldn’t be too offended that I didn’t know he was, but how could he? A 25-year old minor league player who had yet to make it the show, Bote was a part of an organization that was more than set with positional players. There was no room for a middle infielder who was drafted out of a community college in the 18th round. Cubs manager Joe Maddon had to consistently play musical chairs with the roster just to make sure former top prospects like Ian Happ, Albert Almora Jr., and Kyle Schwarber got enough at bats. Bote wasn’t taking at-bats from any of these guys. These players had been declared as the future for a number of years after being drafted in the 1st round of their respective drafts. Bote had never even been considered a top 10 prospect for the Cubs. Bote’s fate in the minors was all but set in stone. However, we know that is not the case. We all know what happened next (actually you probably don’t. I almost guarantee you don’t. The Cubs have been doing what Tristan Thompson has been doing to Khloe all season; playing games)
On April 21st, Bote got sent up to the majors to replace Ben Zobrist, who had gotten injured. He lasted just over a week, as Zobrist returned to the team just eight days later. On May 8th, Jason Heyward was put on the DL and Bote was again brought up to the majors. This time around, Bote lasted a whole nine days in the majors, as he was sent back down May 17th. After that, Bote was in Iowa for a while until June 26th. Kris Bryant got hurt for the 1st time this year and who else would have gotten the call besides Bote. This time, he lasted all the way until July 11th. Unfortunately for him though, he was sent back down (that is third time now for those counting at home). Before Bote was able to unpack at his farm and tend to his cows in Iowa though (assuming he lives on a farm because, well, Iowa) he was called up yet again due to a Almora Jr. family emergency just four days later. I know this is getting old, but he was sent packing back to Fred Hoiberg’s home state four days after that. Finally, just eight days later, Bryant got hurt again. Bote, who at this point had achieved Platinum status on United, returned yet again to Chicago. This time for good. Fifth time is the charm.
You think this back and forth would mess with Bote, but he would never know it. Despite maintaining the travel schedule of a management consultant, Bote has batted .333 this season with three home runs and 18 RBIs. He holds a 1.4 WAR this season, which is the same as Babe Schwarber and more than Rizzo. He has helped the Cubs weather Bryant’s turbulent season of injuries. He has stabilized an inconsistent offensive lineup and helped keep the Cubs in first place. He is batting third in our lineup. Bote, who almost quit baseball just a few years ago after struggling in the minors, has been playing some of the best baseball for the Cubs this summer. And then, there was Sunday.
With the Cubs down 0-3 to the Nationals, bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, two strikes, Bote blasted a walk-off, 442 foot golden home run to win the game 4-3 at the friendly confines. Fans partied like it was 2016 (isn’t it so nice we don’t have to write 1908 anymore? It still is taking some getting used to). Malort shots were poured and unfortunately downed and it felt like October on a warm night in August. Bote became an overnight sensation and officially cemented himself into Cubs history. More importantly, Bote put a down payment on a house in Chicago that night. No more trips to Iowa are in his future. Not after that slam. Not after that celebration. Although it shouldn’t have taken the play of the year, Bote is now a household name and someone we will count on this fall. He isn’t going anywhere. So, it is time to rip up that accounting degree Bote. You are a Chicago Cub for good now.