How lifelong Cubs fan Bill Murray played a part in Rick Sutcliffe’s first career stolen base
Former Cubs pitcher Rick Sutcliffe shared a compelling story of how lifelong Cubs fan Bill Murray helped “The Red Baron” collect his first career stolen base during his recent appearance on Off The Mound with Ryan Dempster.
Sutcliffe was traded to the Cubs in 1984 and met Murray for the first time in 1987. He vividly remembers his first encounter with Murray.
“The first time I ever met him, baseball fans and Cubs fans would remember when Harry Caray had that stroke and he was out, the Cubs brought in celebrities to work alongside of Steve Stone,” Sutcliffe said on Marquee Sports Network. “I guess Bill Murray picked the day that I was going to pitch that day. It was against Montreal. Everybody knows that I don’t talk to even my wife the day I was pitching. I’m in the trainer’s room, they’re putting heat on my arm and as I come out, Bill Murray is sitting in my chair in front of my locker. The team’s around and they’re all laughing and everything. I can’t talk to him because I have my game face on. I reach around him to grab my t-shirt. I reach around and grab my jersey and he stands up and he says ‘Rick Sutcliffe…aren’t we blessed.’
As Sutcliffe introduced himself to Murray, the actor asked for a favor.
“I’m shaking his hand and he looks at me and goes ‘Hey Sut, why don’t you steal a bag for me today?’…you know, whatever,” Sutcliffe said. “In the bottom of the 3rd inning, I get a base hit….Steve Stone and Bill Murray got time to kill. Everybody that day had brought a TV and a radio to Wrigley because they knew Bill was on. Bill’s betting Steve Stone a case of beer that I was going to steal second. Well, Steve Stone said ‘Hey Bill, that’s kind of ridiculous. Sut’s not a young man anymore,’ which is correct. ‘He’s had hamstring problems’, that’s correct. ‘By the way Bill, he’s never attempted a stolen base,’ that’s correct. Well, guess who stole their first base,” Sutcliffe said chuckling.
From that day on, the friendship between Sutcliffe and Murray grew into what it is today.
Tune in every Friday for a new episode of Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster on Marquee Sports Network.