CHICAGO – Baseball history was made at U.S. Cellular Field late Monday night when Chicago Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro became the first Major League Baseball player to order food while rounding third base.
The situation arose in the top of the 8th inning of a 2-2 ballgame. Luis Valbuena stroked a go-ahead double into left-center field. Dioner Navarro, the Cubs portly 5’9″ 220 pound catcher, tried to reach home plate all the way from first base.
However, before making his mad dash to home plate, Navarro made a quick side order.
“His eyes got really big as he got closer to third base. I saw that he had a chance to score, so I was waving him around,” said Cubs third base coach David Bell. “Just as I was waving, he starts yelling at me, ‘Davey! Davey! Large chocolate shake! Large cheese fries! Portillo’s! 100 W. Ontario! I’ll pick up! Tell ’em I’ll have somebody pick up!’ It was absolutely amazing…and then he scored!”
Cubs manager Dale Sveum called Navarro’s sprint, coupled with his lengthy order being placed correctly, one of the greatest feats in baseball history.
“I played in Juan Nieves’ no-hitter. I was on the Yankees for David Wells’ perfect game. I played in a 10 inning no-hitter in Pittsburgh. However, I’ve never seen a man this big, this large, this…full of heart…making a mad charge, throwing danger to the side, making a full Portillo’s order…and then scoring from first base on a double…it’s amazing.”
Navarro was met in the clubhouse by a throng of teammates.
“We were watching the game on TV,” said Portillo’s employee Jacob Eckerman. “When we got the call on the order, I thought, ‘This is a guy we need to deliver for…no pickup…delivery.’ We even threw in a slice of chocolate cake. Bless his soul.”
Navarro was not available for interviews after the game. His face was drenched in sweat, cheese sauce, and cake.