CHICAGO – If it feels like you’ve seen this before, that’s because you have.
On July 26th at Wrigley Field, Cubs fans showered Willson Contreras with cheers and standing ovations in a win over the Pirates with fans thinking that could be his last home game with the team. But at the trade deadline a week later, the catcher wasn’t dealt, so his career in Chicago still had a little more time.
Still, Contreras is on the final year of his contract, so Sunday set up a similar situation where fans might be saying goodbye to another member of the team’s 2016 championship core.
Again, there was an outpouring of thanks from the Cubs’ faithful like there was a few months earlier.
The fans once again saluted Contreras with a few standing ovations and loud cheers during his final at-bat of an 8-1 win over the Reds that gave the Cubs a sweep of not just the series with Cincinnati but the whole six-game homestand.
Members of Contreras’ family joined him on the field shortly after the game as those at the game stood to applaud him along with the rest of the team as the 2022 home schedule came to an end as he completes his sixth year with the organization.
As he did back in July, Contreras tipped his cap to the fans a few times during the end of the contest and then after the victory itself. In what could be his final game at Wrigley Field as his contract with the Cubs is set to expire, he went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run in the club’s seventh-straight win.
Contreras wanted to make sure that he’d get the chance to take the field for this homestand if indeed it’s his last, coming off the injured list last Tuesday and starting in five of the six games.
“It means a lot to me. That’s why I wanted to come back and play this whole week because I don’t know what the future holds,” said Contreras. “I don’t know if it’s going to be my last game with the Cubs, but I enjoyed the moment. If I had to redo it, I’d redo it again, because I’d played in front of one of the best fanbases in baseball.
“They make this place special.”
Once again, they made a full day special for him at Wrigley Field in what could be a goodbye this winter.