On Wednesday, pitcher Jon Lester officially became a former member of the Chicago Cubs, as his deal with the Washington Nationals was made official, and his former team paid him a touching tribute on social media.
Lester, who pitched for the Cubs for six seasons and helped the team to a World Series title in 2016, will go down as one of the best free agent acquisitions in team history, and the team made sure to pull out all the stops to give him a fitting tribute in the lengthy video:
The video opens in an empty Wrigley Field press room, with Lester discussing how frustrated he was that fans weren’t able to be in the stands as he made what would ultimately be his final start with the team in Sept. 2020.
“That’s probably the most frustrating part for me,” he said. “Having an empty stadium. Not how I envisioned my last start here. I didn’t think six years would go this fast.”
The video then launches into a touching retelling of his career on the North Side, including some of his signature moments. Whether it was his game-winning sacrifice bunt, his first career home run, his 2016 NLCS MVP-winning pitching performance, or his relief effort against the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series, his greatest hits were all included in the theatrical production.
After six years with the Cubs, Lester will now join the Nationals’ rotation, with Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin lined up alongside him as he reunites with former Cubs teammate Kyle Schwarber in the nation’s capital.