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Cubs’ Willson Contreras hits winning HR in dramatic Wrigley return

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Dramatic return of Wrigley Contreras: ‘Impossible to write better’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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When Wilson Contreras made his first appearance on the record on Friday, he received a 20-second standing ovation from Cubs fans cheering his return to Wrigley Field.

Contreras, who were widely expected to be traded this week, and the Cubs played their first game since the deadline expired on Tuesday.

Their first home game in 10 days.

The standing ovation in the first half was the second loudest on Friday.

Contreras cranked the go-ahead with a two-run homer in the eighth inning on Friday to catapult the Cubs to a 2-1 victory over the Marlins.

“Honestly, it was amazing,” said Contreras, who hit 0-for-3 the day before the home run. “I was looking forward to doing something special right here.

“I know I had three hard bats early in the game, but the game isn’t over until it’s over. I was still focused on the game and wanted to do some damage.

“Thank God I was able to make a substitution at the stadium and give this team the win.”

The Cubs last played at the Wrigley. seemed like a farewell to Contreras and a fan base that gave him multiple standing ovations before, during, and after the Cubs’ victory over the Pirates on July 26.

Just a day before, Contreras got emotional discussing the possibility that he played his last homeland in a Cubs uniform.

“Last time we said goodbye,” Contreras said after Friday’s victory. “It was a very emotional moment.

“But today was a very energetic moment. I was pumped up.”

This was evident as he circled the bases and after reaching the home court on Friday. Contreras pointed to the fans as he walked back to the Cubs dugout.


Could you write better, could you? Cubs starter Justin Steele said about Contreras’ homer. “Here he is. He is a special player.

“It’s great that he is still our teammate.”

Contreras said the trade rumors and speculation had mental loss on him, and the passage of the term brought him a sense of relief and helped him relax.

“It was just weird because every time I [before the deadline]”It was hard for me to focus on the moment,” Contreras said on Friday, “and I thought about them pulling me out of the game or something like that.”

Even after the deadline passed and he was not traded, he felt “mentally tired” at Bush Stadium on Wednesday.

“I just wanted somewhere to sleep,” Contreras said after Friday’s win. “But I still have to play baseball and I’m resting more than I did in the last two weeks before.”

Contreras has been in business since the deadline passed, and perhaps Friday will be the punctuation mark in all the conversations around him in this area.

He can now fully focus on baseball for the next two months and help the Cubs win ball games without the extra distractions he’s faced in recent weeks.

Doing it at Wrigley Field in front of Cubs fans means a lot to him.

“To have these fans day in and day out in this stadium, playing here and being able to stay with the Cubs for at least two more months, I feel blessed,” Contreras said.

“And I totally agree, because I’ve been here all my life. This is the only command I know. But returning to Wrigley Field is a special event for me.”

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