CHICAGO — Back then, he was one of a number of prospects starting to creep their way onto the Major League roster in the third year of a major rebuild.
New achievements for new players were a bit highlight for the Cubs in 2014, when the team’s win total was in the low 60s to high 70s. So moments meant something, even if they were only simple.
Five years ago on Monday — August 5, 2014 — Javier Baez has one of those moments against the Rockies at Coors Field, blasting his first career homer of his major league debut in a 6-5 win over Colorado.
It would be the first of many memorable moments the infielder and two-time All-Star has produced in a Cubs’ uniform, but he had some more magic for the anniversary on Monday night.
On August 5, 2019, Baez hit not one, but two homers to help the Cubs to a 6-5 win over the Athletics and their fourth-straight victory overall.
Baez hit a 454-foot blast to left-center in the sixth to tie the game at 2, then added another homer into the basket in the seventh to give the Cubs a sixth run. That would turn out to be critical after the Athletics scored three in the eighth inning to cut the lead to one, but the bullpen held in the ninth to preserve the victory.
It’s been quite a five years for Baez since first getting into the majors in 2014 as he has become one of the faces of a memorable era of Cubs’ baseball. He’s started in the last two All-Star Games, was a finalist for the MVP award in 2018, and is one of the leaders of another Cubs’ team fighting for a fifth-straight postseason berth.
Baez has 109 homers in his career adding in the two he hit on Monday night, and continues his strong 2019 season in which he has 28 with a slash line of .290/.323/.563 along with 76 RBI. His ability to play the game with an exciting flair has also endeared him to Cubs’ fans over the past five seasons.
Certainly, Baez knew best how to celebrate a major anniversary in his career on Monday night.