Schwarber's moonshot now a Wrigley artifact
Ball that landed on top of video board encased in plexiglass; Maddon proud of rookies
CHICAGO -- Cubs rookie Kyle Schwarber did not climb to the top of the right-field video board to see where his home run ball landed. The ball, now protected by a plexiglass case, has taken on a life of its own.
"I'm not focused on the home run ball," Schwarber said Thursday before a brief workout at Wrigley Field in preparation for the National League Championship Series. "I'm focused on the next series and getting our bodies right."
In case you missed it, Schwarber launched a solo home run to right leading off the seventh inning of Game 4 of the NL Division Series against the Cardinals. It was difficult to tell where the ball landed -- it appeared to be headed toward Lake Michigan.
"At first, none of us knew where it went," Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta said. "We saw that it landed on top of the scoreboard, and saw the glass case and some of the pictures they took and how they're going to preserve that. I was talking to 'Schwarbs' and said, 'That's amazing, that's history right there.'
"It's the first ball that's ever been up there in the playoffs, and they put a glass case around it," Arrieta said. "Whether they leave it up there or not or put it in the Hall of Fame or wherever, it's a really cool thing for a guy like him to experience and tell people about."
Cubs manager Joe Maddon complimented whoever came up with the idea of boxing the ball with the clear case.
"Whoever thought of it, that's pure genius," Maddon said.
Schwarber could probably get permission to see it if he wanted. Any plans to climb to the top?
"No," he said, laughing.
• The Cubs started four rookies in Game 3 of the NLDS in Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. Earlier this season, Maddon said the young Cubs were "out-experienced" by some teams. Now, he said the players need to control their emotions, slow down the game mentally, which they've done, and they'll be fine.
"I know if they make a mistake, it'll be, 'Blame the lack of experience,' or, 'Rookie mistake,'" Maddon said. "I always get a kick out of that because I've seen veterans make mistakes, too. It's about being able to stay in the moment and processing that moment and not getting too caught up in planning or overthinking it."
• How popular are the Cubs? The team announced Thursday that more than 1 million fans registered for the chance to purchase single-game postseason tickets. Fans can continue to register for a chance to purchase tickets for potential 2015 World Series games at Wrigley Field. The World Series registration period ends at noon CT on Friday.
For additional information about the 2015 postseason, or to review the complete terms and conditions of the 2015 postseason ticket purchase opportunity, fans should visit www.cubs.com/postseason.
• Bob Gehrke, 78, a popular security guard who manned the Cubs' clubhouse entrance, passed away on Tuesday. He had been an employee at Wrigley Field since 2001, and was on the job Monday for Game 1 of the NLDS. Maddon presented Gehrke with a Cubs jersey that said "Bob" and No. 1 on the back in June.