On March 29th, 2018, the Chicago Cubs will take the field against a rebuilding Miami Marlins organization to begin the new campaign. A front office that now features a former New York Yankee great.
You can go through the history of the Chicago Cubs and point out multiple names that left an impact. Recently, for the North Siders, before Anthony Rizzo‘s arrival, young infielder Starlin Castro was the first to open the curtains.
Over the years, we’ve preached Rizzo’s leadership skills on and off the field. Well, at one point, Castro was in the same position at an even younger age. In a road trip against the Cincinnati Reds in early May of 2010, Castro made his big league debut.
Everyone who paid attention to this sport and franchise knew how special this was going to be. As for Castro, it was the beginning of a bright future. Maybe not entirely how he had imagined, but bright regardless of the years to come.
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With only one swing of the bat, in his first ever plate appearance, Starlin Castro homered off Homer Bailey. He later followed that up with a bases-loaded clearing triple, setting a record for most RBI (6) in a debut.
Sure, he may have ended the night 2-for-5 at the dish, but it was hard to deny that, yeah, this kid is going to be good.
And, despite a few struggles along the way, he was outstanding.
From the Windy City to the Bronx
For those of you who understand the business side of professional sports, you know how difficult things can get. Not a single player in any sport is promised to stay with the same team for their entire career. Now, some end up finding their way back home.
When his time with the Chicago Cubs came to an end, Castro was upset, yet excited. A young player who provided so much for a team in drought went from a city full of passion and hope to one of the greatest organizations, in all aspects of the game.
Of course, in his first year with the New York Yankees, Castro exploded with a career-high 21 homers, 70 RBI and a batting line of .270/.300/.433/.734. What happened with the Cubs that year?
They would go on and win the World Series, ending 108-years of pain and sorrow. Unfortunately, Starlin had to watch from home. Either way, he was happy for the city and former teammates for accomplishing a life-long goal.
Talents sent to South Beach
Although rebuilding a team from the ground up is a good thing, unwanted roster moves are expected. Roster moves that resulted in Derek Jeter trading Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees. In exchange for Stanton, the Marlins received Jorge Guzman, Jose Devers, and Castro.
This would be Castro’s third big league club in a matter of four years. Like the true professional he is, Starlin welcomed the new opportunity and even mentioned the clubs first opponent of 2018.
You guessed it right, the team he made his first big league debut with nearly eight years ago. According to NBC Sports Chicago, Castro expressed his gratitude toward the city of Chicago and its loyal fans that provided a standing ovation in his return to Wrigley Field last year.
"“I love Chicago. That’s the city that gave me the first opportunity to be a professional ball player. I feel good when I play there. I’m looking forward to go over there and see all the fans.” — Castro via NBC Sports Chicago."
Deep down, Starlin knows the city and its fans love him just as much as he does us. Hence the ovation he had received in nearly every plate appearance in enemy colors. Aside from other traits, love is what us Cubs fan bring to the table.
Once you’ve put on a Cubs uniform, you’re a Cub for life. However, in most cases, do what you were able to do like Starlin Castro and you’ll remain family for eternity.
Come tomorrow when it’s time to get to work, those Cubs fans in Miami for the opener will likely make some noise for old No. 13.