Ex-Mariner of the Year

Pitchers and Catchers report today!

In celebration, and you know we celebrate this day every year, Playin’ in the Dirt tips a cap to one amazing man. A man who you just have to believe is most glad for a mind-boggling trade.

Second-year pitcher Mike Montgomery had appeared in 32 games for the Ms in 2016, posting a 2.34 ERA and looking strong. On July 20, he went to the Cubs. Three months later, he was in the playoffs.

On November 2, former Mariner Mike Montgomery threw the final pitch in the World Series, and he got the save that brought a championship to Chicago for the first time in 108 years. Enjoy this one, set it on loop, and just watch it again and again. Talk about a dream come true…

But wait. There’s more. Much as you love it, when you’ve wiped your eyes a few times, freeze that frame at 0:20 and you get this:

See him? #66, Munenori Kawasaki, former Mariner, former Blue Jay, now a Cub, bouncing like the happiest man on the field. Playin’ in the Dirt predicted in September, such a long shot, such an amazing dream, that this patient man who looked like he was bound for the Ross Eversoles just might get that shot at a title. “Barring a miracle,” we said of that long shot. Sure enough, the Cubs didn’t put him on the postseason roster. But still he was there, because they needed him in the dugout. And we’ll be damned if he wasn’t all up in the pigpile like he hit the walkoff homer himself. Kawa, we love you man.

Here’s to you, Cubs. And thank you Nike for the best sixty seconds in the history of television…

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