At today’s game, the Chicago Cubs honored Jason Heyward, who has been with the team seven seasons now, and will be departing after this year.
Describing Heyward’s role on the Cubs in that time, his statistical and financial relationship to the winning and losing, is a complicated matter. The performance may have fallen considerably short of the expectations created by his contract, but his contributions go beyond what we can look up on the stat sheet. Sometimes that’s just an imagined creation. In Heyward’s case, it seems pretty clear by the way he’s been treated by the organization and his teammates. He has mattered to them a great deal, and at a time when the team won a lot of games and a World Series.
Among the honors from today’s game, an in-game interruption so that the team could show a tribute video and give Heyward a standing ovation. It was appropriately loud:
Here is the tribute video, as well as a message from Heyward to the fans. It’s touching:
And for a sense of what Heyward means to the players, consider the guy who has known him for the shortest time – and whose position he took over – and think about the impact Heyward already had: