The 10 most wholesome moments of the 2023 Cubs season
The 2023 Cubs season was filled with a lot of unforgettable moments – from Opening Day to Game 162, the Cubs provided their fans with a lot to remember.
There were also some wholesome moments along the way. Thanksgiving week is all about family, friends and moments that make your heart feel full.
Before you hit the dinner table and spend time with loved ones, here are the most wholesome times from the 2023 Cubs season.
Check the video above and head to the Marquee Sports Network app for the complete highlights montage.
There were 3 moments that did not make the Top 10, but they need to be highlighted:
Cubs’ rookies dress as Mario Kart characters during road trip
The Cubs were gearing up for their biggest road trip of the season, traveling to Colorado and Arizona for a week-long trip and were in the thick of the playoff hunt. While stress levels could have been high, the Cubs made sure to have fun, having rookies dress as Mario Kart characters.
The Cubs have a Mario Kart themed road trip for rookies.— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) September 10, 2023
Miguel Amaya is Luigi
Javier Assad is Mario
Daniel Palencia/Alexander Canario are Yoshi
Jordan Wicks/Luke Little are Toad
Miles Mastrobuoni is Wario
And Hayden Wesneski is the cloud
Grounds crew members end up surfing on the Wrigley Field tarp
During rain delays, the key is to pass time, even if you have a job to do. This was the case for a few members of the Wrigley Field grounds crew.
With the rain coming down in the middle of the 7th, the grounds crew needed to cover the field with tarp. But, it led to some falling on the field and almost getting swallowed by the tarp monster. Then, they decided to have some fun, surfing on the tarp as they pulled it to cover the field.
Hitting coach Jonatan Mota reunites with his father after 8 years
Not all wholesome moments involve players, and this one with coaching staff assistant Jonathan Mota was quite special. Mota, who has been with the Cubs since 2021, saw his father, René, in-person for the first time in nearly 2,800 days.
When René went back to Venezuela, massive inflation and turmoil hit the country, making it extremely difficult to travel to the United States. While the two communicated via FaceTime, René said, “the distance hits you. It’s not the same as being here, giving him a hug or to be able to talk to him and say ‘Hey, son, are you OK?’’
8 years after the last time they saw each other, the father and son came face-to-face.
Now, time for the countdown. Here are the 10 most wholesome moments from the Cubs 2023 season:
10. Jared Young gives his first HR ball to his 1-month old niece
The Cubs’ designated hitter had a storybook first MLB start – in his first at-bat, he smoked a 425-foot home run off of Aaron Nola. But, the home run was not the only special part of the day.
Young’s family was in attendance, including his brother and his 1-month-old niece, who he met for the first time that day. After the game, Young said he’s giving the ball to her.
9. Wilson Contreras, Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant return to Wrigley Field – each with a tribute
Jason Heyward and Wilson Contreras are two players Cubs fans will remember for a long time, and both returned to Wrigley Field as a member of another team for the first time. Both Contreras and Heyward were each met with warmth from Cubs fans.
The same can be said about Kris Bryant, who wasn’t making his first return to Wrigley but got a standing ovation in his first at-bat.
Kris Bryant will always get a standing ovation at Wrigley! pic.twitter.com/S3W8OHGGZW— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) September 22, 2023
8. Nico Hoerner has 15 family members attend the Cubs game in London
In June, the Cubs played in London for the first time in their history against the St. Louis Cardinals. For second baseman Nico Hoerner, it was a family affair: he had 15 family members attend the game.
Hoerner’s family is all over England, including Bristol, Oxford, Manchester and Leeds, and they made sure to show out for the Cubs.
“It’s exciting to see family that I don’t know very well but have heard a lot about,” Hoerner said in an episode of Cubs All Access. “To share my life passion, baseball with them and have them all see their first baseball game of their lives is an amazing way to reconnect with your family.”
To see more, check out the episode of Cubs All Access from Cubs Productions here.
7. Alexander Canario hits a grand slam in his first start — and the Cubs go wild
A highlight in the Cubs’ final stretch of home games was Alexander Canario hitting a grand slam in his first ever MLB start. In a 14-1 rout over the Pittsburgh Pirates, Canario had 5 RBI on the night, including the special blast in the 8th inning.
The dugout went crazy including Christopher Morel taking his shirt off. When asked about the home run, Morel said the following.
“At the beginning of the game, I told him ‘your time is here, enjoy your game,” Morel said. “All the time you have, enjoy it as if it was your last day, because you never know.”
6. Justin Steele interacts with fans in his first All-Star appearance
One of the top stories of the Cubs 2023 season was Justin Steele’s ascension into the Cubs’ ace and one of the best pitchers in the MLB. Steele made his first ever MLB All-Star game appearance in July.
It’s been a long path for Justin Steele to his first All-Star Game 🙌 pic.twitter.com/q37eNrTyWr— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) July 10, 2023
On the day before the game, Steele was mic’d up for Marquee Sports Network, and he had some wholesome fan interactions. Between fans asking Steele to sign their jerseys, hats, baseballs and even their foreheads, it’s clear that MLB fans are willing to do anything to meet some stars. Steele was all for it, and he also chatted with some players, such as the Brewers’ Corbin Burnes, and got in a picture with the Padres’ Juan Soto and Mets pitcher Kodai Senga.
Check out the full video here.
5. Miguel Amaya gets his first hit and sings ‘Go Cubs go’
Miguel Amaya might be the future for the Cubs at the catcher position and 2023 was seen as a development year. It started with his first hit against the Miami Marlins, which was special, and to add on to it, his family was in the stands to witness it. The reaction says it all:
After the game, Amaya made sure to join Cubs fans in singing “Go Cubs go.” He said to Taylor McGregor that the moment was electric, and him and his family are living the dream.
"This is electric."— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) May 6, 2023
Miguel Amaya joins the Wrigley Field faithful in 'Go Cubs Go' 🙌 pic.twitter.com/cgBVQL74jJ
See the the full interview with Amaya and Taylor McGregor after his special day here.
4. Pete Crow Armstrong makes his MLB debut with his mother in attendance
“PCA” is an exciting prospect for the Cubs, and he showed why in September. Crow-Armstrong has been recognized for his defense at the minor league level and immediately showed his potential in Colorado, making two spectacular catches in his first start.
PETE CROW-ARMSTRONG. pic.twitter.com/TGxspu4aYn— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) September 13, 2023
WELCOME TO THE BIGS, PCA! pic.twitter.com/85Lui7G9K2— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) September 13, 2023
His mother made the trip out to Colorado for his debut and the two shared a moment after:
PCA embraces his mom after his MLB debut pic.twitter.com/FwFTTau9BP— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) September 12, 2023
3. Seiya Suzuki meets Mike Trout and gives Shohei Ohtani his Cubs pitch
When Seiya Suzuki had his introductory press conference for the Cubs in March 2022, he was asked why he chose the number 27. His answer was short and sweet: “Mike Trout, I love you.”
15 months after this iconic moment, Suzuki finally got to meet his idol before the Cubs took on the Angels in Anaheim.
There was another big name for Cubs fans in this series: Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani, the do-it-all superstar, is the biggest free agent in the MLB this offseason, and in June, Seiya made sure to give him his Cubs pitch.
2. Pat Hughes is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
Last season’s wholesome moments included Hughes’ reaction to being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and this was the full-circle moment.
Pat Hughes is a household name for Cubs fans – he has been the play-by-play announcer for the Cubs since 1996 and has been an MLB announcer for over 40 years. In July, Hughes was officially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Pat Hughes thanks Cubs fans 💙 pic.twitter.com/ps6jb1yR8z— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) July 22, 2023
“Just getting a call from the president of the Hall of Fame was exciting,” he said in an exclusive interview with Marquee Sports Network. “I love baseball history and I love baseball broadcasting history, so it was extra special for me. Seeing my plaque up in the Hall of Fame today, I just stood there in disbelief.”
1. Christopher Morel provides a moment of the season and an epic celebration
If you had to list the best moments from the Cubs 2023 season, Christopher Morel’s walk-off home run against the White Sox in August is at or near the top of the list. It also was the most wholesome moment of the Cubs’ 2023 season.
CHRISTOPHER MOREL WALKS IT OFF! pic.twitter.com/uFZrEs7Aus— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) August 17, 2023
It was a special summer for the Cubs and it got even better when Morel blasted a 3-run shot, and his celebration was one people won’t forget. Morel, who’s known for his smile, energy and power, showed all the emotion in a sprint around the bases. From the pure electricity on his face as he stepped on first, to waving his arms as he turned around second, to taking his shirt off as he passed third, to getting engulfed by teammates as he leaped on home, it was unforgettable.
[W]RIGLEY FIELD IS ELECTRIC! pic.twitter.com/NNG43Jf5he— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) August 17, 2023
This was just the start – Morel’s interview after the game and the celebrations with teammates was something that you can’t help but smile from. He also had the most wholesome response in the aftermath. On a special night and a special game, there was this moment that Morel and the Cubs faithful will always remember.