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Game 131 // Ninth Inning // Praise You, Jason Heyward

We’ve come a long, long way together. Through the hard times and the good.

 I have to celebrate you, Jason.

 I have to praise you like I should.



They’ve said for a long time that Jason Heyward never had his Cubs moment.

Or that maybe that moment was the Rain Delay Speech, Game 7 of the World Series.



But beyond that, outside of the clubhouse, on the field where baseball happens… the shelf’s been empty. A spot left open, always, for the Jason Heyward Moment.

There were those dives in the outfield. Those catches. That time he climbed up the wall.



That time in San Francisco.



That throw.



All of these, and some hits, here and there.

But never that moment that enshrined him into Cubbery for good.

There had been that one moment, though. That Cubs moment. 2010. Opening Day. Atlanta. His major-league debut. First career at-bat. The Cubs in the field. Carlos Zambrano on the mound. And there Jason Heyward was, blasting a three-run shot through the afternoon air in April.



Eight years later. In Chicago, with the Cubs down two runs and the bases loaded, ninth inning, without a Cubs Moment to his name—Jason Heyward comes up to bat.

Hitting .139 against lefties. Facing a lefty.

Two outs. Two strikes. Down by two runs.

The crowd at Wrigley Field is ALIVE.

And Adam Morgan steps off the mound. They reset, Heyward gets back in, the ballpark readies.

Morgan steps off again.

 It’s June, the Cubs are in no trouble in the standings, the Billy Goat Curse is two years gone, and the human embodiment of the Fanaticism is crossing her fingers over her eyes.



Morgan steps off again. Again!

The catcher comes out for a mound visit. Two minutes have gone by since the last pitch. As if they know what’s coming and they just hope to ice Jason Heyward into some kind of mistake.

But then, the point of no return. Morgan has to make a pitch. He does.

And a noise happens.





Everybody was on their feet. Just like that day in Atlanta. Screaming “Let’s—go—Heyward!”

And he delivered.

Jason Heyward has had his moment.



And what do you do—after a moment like that?

You watch it again, and again. You pull up three windows at once, looping the video from start to finish. You hook up the extra monitor and watch it six times at once.

You listen to the best music there is.

You start jumping around the room.



And you say, once again:

We’ve come a long, long way together. Through the hard times and the good.

I have to celebrate you, Jason.

I have to praise you like I should.