Frank Schwindel is embracing quickly becoming a fan-favorite
Just a few days ago, Frank Schwindel took a nice, relaxing walk through the streets of Wrigleyville.
“We were walking around, and people had no idea [who I was],” Schwindel said.
By the time he took another walk through the neighborhood on Saturday, that had all changed.
“A couple of high fives walking down Waveland, a couple of pictures with people, a couple of autographs,” Schwindel said. “It was cool, because I’m obviously not used to any of that.”
He better start getting used to it, especially if he continues swinging the hot bat he has since he joined the Cubs after the trade deadline. Since July 30th, among players with at least 100 plate appearances, Schwindel is first in batting average, hitting .370. He’s seventh in on-base percentage, getting on at a .419 clip, second in slugging at .705 and fifth in hits with 44.
Couple that with being named the NL Rookie of the Month in August and he’s quickly becoming a favorite among Cubs fans — and he’s noticing.
“I heard the ‘Frank the Tank’ chants again in the crowd. It’s just awesome to hear,” Schwindel said. “30,000 people today. It felt like they were all chanting it. It got loud and it was a lot of fun.”
It was the cherry on top of a special weekend for Schwindel. He had a faction of family and friends in town from New Jersey for the weekend series and they soaked it all in. They were wearing shirts with “Schwindy City” emblazoned on them. They had FatHead posters of his face in the stands and were featured on the video screen at Wrigley Field.
“They’re enjoying it just as much as I am,” Schwindel said.
Heck, Cubs fans are relishing it just as much as he is. The icing on top of the proverbial cake seemingly was Saturday’s game, where he had his first walk-off hit, an infield single in which he slid into first maneuvering his body around a tag to seal the win.
Except, Sunday afternoon he topped that with a go-ahead grand slam that gave the Cubs their sixth straight win and a series sweep over the Pirates.
“This is just unbelievable,” Schwindel said. “Probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing baseball the last couple of days.”
As his stardom among Cubs fans grows, the nickname “Frank the Tank” that was chanted inside of Wrigley Field is sticking — especially in the Cubs clubhouse.
“I call him ‘Tank Schwindel’,” teammate Matt Duffy said. “Especially with the way he’s swinging it, ‘Tank Schwindel’ is all you need.”
For a guy who claims he’s no longer as superstitious as he used to be, he was still a little nervous his hot streak could end on Sunday.
“I was a little worried today because I had to get a new jersey because they ripped my buttons off yesterday,” Schwindel said.
Three hits and a go-ahead grand slam later and its proof that it wasn’t in the jersey. It’s just in his simplistic approach.
“Just show up and do my same routine and keep it going,” Schwindel said. “I’m feeling pretty good. I think I’m swinging at some good pitches and good things are happening.”
If he keeps swinging at good pitches like he has been, soon, he won’t be able to go anywhere in Wrigleyville without being stopped.