Willson Contreras bid an emotional heartfelt farewell to the best fans in baseball in what was likely his last home game in a Chicago Cubs uniform. There may never be another catcher quite like him at Wrigley Field.
It wasn’t supposed to end this way, Willson Contreras like so many players from the 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series roster was supposed to remain a Cubs player for life. Instead he has likely played his last home game in a Cubs uniform and like the crowd that loves and cheers for him every week, Contreras gave love and cheers back to the fans. Contreras was brought to tears by multiple standing ovations from the faithful at the friendly confines.
Perhaps no team in baseball quite loves their players as much as Cubs fans do and that was on full display today.
Wilson Contreras salutes the crowd before his 1st AB in likely his last home game as a Cub. Contreras hit a single, and he and Suzuki scored on a double by @ihapp_1 pic.twitter.com/TzKz6sVNkH
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) July 26, 2022
Willson Contreras started as a third base prospect in the Cubs system and then switched to catcher. From there he developed into a three-time All-Star starting catcher. Finding and cultivating the level of talent Contreras is behind the plate is an extremely rare accomplishment for any organization and one that should be rewarded with Contreras remaining with the Cubs.
Just how emotional of a day was it? Contreras shared a monumental hug with teammate Ian Happ who has also likely seen his last game in Chicago, a touching moment that can’t be captured in words, but only in the tenderness of the hug.
Ian Happ And Wilson Contreras Share A Moment As They Await The Trade Deadline
Where Will The Two All Stars Be Playing Next Week?#ItsDifferentHere pic.twitter.com/iZeJ1xJegL
— MLBMuse (@TheMLBMuse) July 26, 2022
The standing ovation, the embrace says everything you need to know about what Contreras has grown into as a baseball player, and as a man. He was a bit immature, when he first arrived in Chicago. Not quite ready for primetime. Maybe a little aloof, but oh that personality and that work ethic and how it has carried him through to greatness.
Willson Contreras should remain with the Cubs the same way Yadier Molina has remained with the Cardinals, because he has developed into the type of leader a young growing baseball team needs. Contreras is a perfect representative of today’s modern baseball player, he’s a great player and still has fun playing the game.
You need that backstop and that manager on the field and that’s exactly what he has become that will be so desperately needed as the Cubs move into the future in part with a total rebuild. It’s the most important thing for the Cubs, because Willson Contreras wants to remain with the Cubs rather than moving on.
Thusly the Cubs likely aren’t going to get back in value for what they’ll be losing. You only hope you can get back players that can pan out and be a contributor in the future. For Contreras he is a contributor now and should remain so, long into the future. It’s just sad that it likely won’t be happening for one of the most fun-loving players to grace a Cubs dugout since Ernie Banks.
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