It’s been days since the Chicago Cubs eliminated the St. Louis Cardinals from the playoffs, but the stories from the NLDS continue to roll in.
Monday’s Game 3 was a historic night at Wrigley Field, as the Cubs set an all-time postseason record by hitting six home runs, and there were six stories to go along with that record, which you can read about here. However, the Cardinals hit two home runs that night as well, one coming from Jason Heyward in the sixth inning, and Stephen Piscotty’s ninth-inning home run that ended up in the hands of the great-grandson of Cubs Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett.
Markus Hartnett, a grade school teacher, says that for as long as he’s been attending Cubs games, he’s never been put in that position, but his students expected him to come through that night.
“They were like, ‘You’ve got to catch a ball, you got to catch one, ‘ and I was like ‘I’ve been going to Cubs games for 33 years and I’ve never even come close to catching a ball.”
With the wind blowing out and baseballs leaving Wrigley Field at a record pace, Hartnett simply found himself in the right place at the right time.
“I just kind of stuck my hand up. It couldn’t have been hit more perfectly to me. I’m really excited about the clean catch. I’m glad it wasn’t a bobbled catch, do my blood lines right.”
He’s right. His great-grandfather was a six-time All-Star, and is widely regarded as one of the best catchers in major league history. The ball Markus caught was the eighth and final home run of the night, which is also a major league record in a postseason game. I’m sure you’re asking if he kept the ball.
“I threw it back, man! It was a St. Louis Cardinal home run. I feel like if I would have brought that home, my great-grandfather would be rolling over in his grave.”
Attaboy, Markus. Your great-grandfather would be proud.
For good measure, I went back and watched the highlights from Game 3 and found Markus Hartnett in the right-field bleachers. If you look closely, you can see him there just after catching the ball.