CHICAGO — Willson Contreras stepped up to the batters box in the 6th inning of last night’s game with everyone at Wrigley Field on their feet. Fans cheered as if the rookie Contreras was a veteran fan favorite. Javier Baez stood on first base being told adamantly by Joe Maddon and third base coach Gary Jones not to try to steal second base. Thankfully, Baez listened.
The first pitch Contreras would see to start his already promising big league career, he would send soaring over the center field wall for his first career home run.
Contreras joins Paul Gillespie (1942), Frank Ernaga (1957), Cuno Barragan (1961), Carmelo Martinez (1983), Jim Bullinger (1992), Starlin Castro (2010), and Jorge Soler (2014) as the only players in Cubs franchise history to home run in their first ever plate appearance.
Everyone from the fans, to the players, and even the announcers were ecstatic as Contreras rounded the bases to be greeted at home by Baez, who thankfully heeded Maddon and Jones’ words.
There seems to be no end to the depth of riches in the Chicago Cubs farm system. Contreras will catch for John Lackey Monday night against the St. Louis Cardinals.