The 2017 Major League Baseball season is well underway, but the national media is still getting mileage out of the 2016 World Series.
Maybe that’s just how it goes when a team breaks a 108-year championship drought?
At any rate, that championship team — the Chicago Cubs — and Middletown native Kyle Schwarber were featured on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, a segment that revealed a few nuggets about the former Middie and his current team.
If you were wondering why Chicago’s wunderkind general manager, Theo Epstein, made the call to draft Scharber out of Indiana, he gave an interesting explanation.
“Kyle played baseball with a football mentality,” Epstein told CBS’ Bill Whitaker. “He would run through a wall in order to catch a ball. He would attack any obstacle that faced the team.”
That tenacity paid off when Scharber was able to rehabilitate a knee injury fast enough to be able to play in the Fall Classic against Cleveland.
All he did there was hit .400 and start the game-winning rally in extra-innings of Game 7.
He was limited in how many swings his doctor would let him take while working his way back, so he came up with a unique training method to prepare himself for the game’s biggest stage.
“I want to set up a pitching machine,” he said. “I want to set you know, fastballs, sliders, and curveballs where I could just stand at the plate in a batters’ box and watch these pitches go by — just so I can see it and train my eyes all over again.”
As for that key hit in his last at-bat? He claims he saw it coming, but he admitted he might have just been guessing.
“It’s just you get that gut feeling. Like, you know, you feel really good before you go up to the plate and you know you you’re gonna do something,” Schwarber said. “And I could’ve been just talking’ a lot of crap too, but I really believed victory parade on Nov. 4, 2016.”
He was right.