Fifteen years ago, the Chicago Cubs were in an interesting, and long-term-unproductive phase. The organization had some solid talent thanks largely to some good trades in the Jim Hendry era, but playoff contention wasn’t coming in the near-term without a free agent spending binge. With the team set to be put on the sale block within a year, that’s precisely what the Tribune Company ordered.
By late June of 2007, however, it hadn’t worked.
Despite an explosion of spending that saw the team bring in Alfonso Soriano, Mark DeRosa, Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis, and Cliff Floyd, among others, the team was well under .500 before they started to heat up with a sweep of the White Sox on the South Side from June 22-24.
Then, on June 25, the Cubs had an insane win against the Rockies, where they blew a five-run lead in the 9th inning, only to then walk it off on a two-run Soriano single. That was a fun one. The Cubs went on to sweep that series, too.
But then the Brewers came to town on June 29 and hung a five spot on the Cubs in the very first inning. Hot streak over? Nope. The Cubs battled back, and got to within a run by the time the 9th inning rolled around.
That’s when, with a man on first, Aramis Ramirez belted one of the most iconic homers in recent Cubs memory:
The homer brought the Cubs to .500 for the first time since early May, and they would go on to win 85 games, which was enough to claim the NL Central that year. Different times in so many ways.
Happy anniversary to Ramirez’s blast, and one of the best Len Kasper calls we ever got.