Stanley Cup visits Wrigley Field
Maddon, Cubs hoist Blackhawks' trophy
CHICAGO -- The Stanley Cup came out of right field and ever so slowly made its way around the outfield before the Cubs' 6-0 loss to the Indians on Tuesday night. Then it went down the third-base line, passed around like a dish at Thanksgiving before it was brought to Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
Then Maddon, who had remained neutral in his rooting interests during the Stanley Cup Final, hoisted the Stanley Cup above his head and the crowd roared the loudest it had all night.
Less than 24 hours after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in Chicago, they brought it out to Wrigley Field to celebrate before Tuesday's game against the Indians. Many players took their turn lifting the famous trophy as they paraded around the edges of Wrigley Field.
The Blackhawks posed with Cubs on the mound and later dined in the right-field bleachers as the game took place, as many fans turned their backs to the action for a glimpse.
It's the third time in the past six years the Blackhawks have won hockey's biggest honor and brought it back to Wrigley for visit. Maddon followed the Lightning while he managed Tampa Bay for eight seasons, but said the Blackhawks' third time was "pretty spectacular."
"It was a great game to watch," he said. "They definitely deserved to win."
Some of Maddon's players took a more serious interest in the game, perhaps none more so than outfielder Chris Denorfia. Once Monday's game against the Indians was postponed due to inclement weather, Denorfia jumped on the opportunity to attend the game.
He said he "pulled some strings" to get tickets for himself and his wife, and then found a babysitter in 20 minutes. Denorfia was a Hartford Whalers fan growing up, but as they relocated to Carolina in 1998 and he moved around to different teams, Denorfia adopted the Blackhawks as a team to root for.
"It was awesome to be there," he said. "What championships mean in this town makes you hope that happens here."
Denorfia was in the lineup for Tuesday's game, but he was in the large mass of players that all swarmed for a chance to see the Cup.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo also made his way to the United Center to watch the game, but many others stayed at home to watch. Catcher David Ross said he was up as fireworks went off into the night around his house. Maddon, meanwhile, said he want to the Tavern on Rush to watch the game.
But the Cubs weren't the only ones who got a chance to watch the game. Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis, a native of Chicago suburb, Northbrook, took to Wrigleyville to watch the game with his family.
Kipnis called the scene after the game "straight out of a movie," as strangers and fans hugged and celebrated in the middle of the street. A fan of the Blackhawks growing up, Kipnis was OK missing Monday's game as everything lined up to perfection.
"This [postponed game] was delightful, to say the least," he said. "I thought I needed to be pinched. I wished for this, prayed for this, but I didn't think anybody was listening."