CHICAGO — Some more good news concerning “Mongo” came on Monday, which happen to fall on a memorable anniversary for the former Bears’ defensive tackle.
According to a release from his family, Steve McMichael’s health continues to improve after being placed in ICU dealing with sepsis and pneumonia. While he’s battled off the former and continues to take antibiotics for the latter, he’s expected to be released from the ICU soon and return home.
That was announced on August 7, 22 years to the day in which McMichael had one of his most replayed moments since being in the public eye in Chicago. What’s unusual is that this didn’t occur at Soldier Field or any Bears’ event.
Instead, it was at a Cubs’ game at Wrigley Field in the WGN-TV broadcast booth.
Viewers on Channel 9 watched as McMichael took the microphone to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. This came after home plate umpire Angel Hernandez mistakenly called out Ron Coomer at home plate in the sixth.
McMichael, like most of the crowd, disagreed with his judgment, and he let him have it before signing.
“Mongo’s home Chicago! Don’t worry, I’ll have a some speaks with that home plate umpire after the game,” said McMichael with a beverage in hand, even blowing a kiss towards Hernandez.
Eventually, the crowd started booing the ump, and the former Bear did the same, eventually starting to sing. Meanwhile, Hernandez would glare at McMichael in the booth above, unhappy with the callout, yet he never instructed him to be ejected from the stadium.
McMichael joined Chip Caray & Joe Carter in the WGN broadcast booth in that half-inning to discuss what had happened and eventually did leave the press box.
In the history of the team having guests sing the seventh inning stretch since the death of Harry Caray in 1998, it remains one of the more memorable moments in its history.
What makes it more memorable in some ways is how the game would end in the ninth inning in a Cubs’ victory. After a hit by Joe Girardi, Ricky Gutierrez slipped coming around third trying to score, which scrambled the runners on the bases when the throw came in.
Yet Gutierrez still was going back and forth toward the plate as the Rockies’ fielders decided where to go with the ball. Eventually, Girardi led off first base and Colorado threw that direction to tag him out, leading Gutierrez to try and score, which he did, giving the Cubs a 5-4 victory.
Yet that bizarre moment remains a footnote to Mongo’s performance in the broadcast booth.
Larry Hawley has more on this moment 22 years ago Monday on this edition of #WGNTBT on WGN News Now, which you can watch in the video above.