Cubs News

Storybook: Willson Contreras celebrates his return to Wrigley Field in style

1 year agoTony Andracki

Willson Contreras certainly made his return to Wrigley Field worthwhile.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, the Cubs were trailing 1-0 to the Marlins. Nick Madrigal got the inning going with a leadoff single and after Rafael Ortega advanced Madrigal to second base, Contreras stepped into the batter’s box. 

The 3-time All-Star delivered a clutch go-ahead, 2-run homer, sending Wrigley Field into a euphoric state. 

Rowan Wick shut the door in the 9th inning and the Cubs celebrated a come-from-behind 2-1 victory thanks to their emotional leader.

“Couldn’t write it better, could you?” said Justin Steele, who struck out 10 in 4.2 innings Friday. “That’s how he is. He’s a special player. It’s really great to still have him as a teammate.”

This was the first game back at Wrigley for Contreras after the whirlwind that was the trade deadline.

Prior to his heroics in the 8th inning, Contreras was 0-for-3 at the plate.

“Oh god, that was amazing. To be honest, I was looking forward to do something special right there,” Contreras said. “I know that I had 3 tough at-bats earlier in the game but the game isn’t over until it’s over and I was still focused on the game and I was looking to do some damage.

“Thank God that I was able to hit a changeup out of the ballpark and give this team a win. That’s the most important thing — that we won today against a really good pitching staff. I’m just trying to find a way to help this team to win.”

As he was announced for his at-bat in the 1st inning Friday, the 35,689 fans in attendance showered him in applause for a completely different reason than 10 days earlier, when many thought it could be his final Wrigley appearance as a Cub.

“Last time was kind of like saying goodbye,” Contreras said. “It was really an emotional moment. Today was a really high-energy moment. I was pumped up. Having these fans day in and day out at this ballpark, playing here and being able to stay with the Cubs for at least two more months, I feel like I’m blessed.

“I’ve been here my whole life. This is the only team that I know. But to be back at Wrigley Field, it’s just special for me.”

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