You remember the home run.
Even if you didn’t watch Game 4 of the 2015 NLDS between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs live, social media roared in response to an absolutely monstrous home run struck by Cubs rookie catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber.
It wasn’t merely a big home run from another talented Cub youngster. Schwarber jolted the ball about as high as the Gateway Arch, for it only to land atop the newly constructed right field scoreboard. Wrigley Field went into a frenzy.
Oh, Hell. Here it is again, in all its pure, Cardinal-beating glory! With Statcast!
That home run played a big role in the Cubs beating the dastardly Cardinals en route to their first National League Championship Series since 2003. In honor of the blast’s grand epicness, the Cubs enclosed the Schwarbomb in plexiglass to preserve the memory of a truly great moment in franchise history.
And today, the Cubs removed the ball from atop the scoreboard “for security reasons,” according to a team spokesman to the Chicago Tribune. I’m no expert, but I’m not sure how a ball encased in this plexiglass poses a security threat.
I don’t believe a Bleacher Bum a few Goose Island Green Lines deep would get very far trying to climb the right field scoreboard in an effort to steal history, but what do I know? I’m just a writer.
The Cubs — who will be good, and this writer believes will compete for a World Series championship in 2016 — should have left the ball right where it was.
Superstition has nothing to do with this. I’ve never been a firm believer in billy goats and black cats; organizational ineptitude resulted in a century-plus of mediocrity. There’s no belief that the Cubs will find luck in the mystical ball atop the board.
It’s a symbol. A reminder to opponents just what Kyle Schwarber — and the Cubs lineup as a whole — are capable of doing to a given pitcher any day. It’s a stern warning to any opposing pitcher who dares step onto the Wrigley Field mound, to make them quiver with fear before even throwing a pitch to Anthony Rizzo or Kris Bryant or Jason Heyward.
Above all else, it’s a fun little homage to the most exciting Cubs playoff moment in a significant amount of years. And this Cubs regime is all about the good times.
Ultimately, it’s largely insignificant news that will probably be forgotten by the time opening ceremonies begin at this weekend’s Cubs Convention. In fact, they’ll probably play a nice video tribute to the year that was and include the home run. And the Cubs will still contend in 2016 and have plenty of fun doing it. This writer cannot wait for Opening Day.
And if the Cubs want to move on and not dwell on the past, even if the past is pleasant, then more power to them.
But I will forever refer to the right field scoreboard as the Schwarboard. Because he claimed ownership of that part of Wrigley Field so long as he wears a Cubs jersey. And even though the ball’s stay atop the board has ended, the legend shall live forever.