Contreras’ message to Cubs fans after emotional day originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
If this is it for Willson Contreras in a Cubs uniform at Wrigley Field, he wants the North Side faithful to know at least one thing.
“I have a lot of things in my head right now about the fans but nothing but love,” Contreras said after Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Pirates. “I'd like to thank you all.”
Tuesday was the Cubs’ final home game before the trade deadline, making it all but certainly Contreras’ final home game with the team. The Cubs are expected to trade him by next Tuesday.
Cubs fans understood the situation and showed Contreras love throughout the game, giving him a near-30-second standing ovation when he stepped to the batter’s box in the first inning.
He stepped away from the batter's box and took a moment, soaking it in.
“I didn’t expect it in the first at-bat because it was a long game, but when I started hearing it in the first at-bat, it was amazing,” Contreras said.
“I tried to enjoy it as much as I could and take it all in. I love how the fans embrace myself and how much they love me. That makes me feel good.”
Contreras got nice hands throughout the game, but the biggest ovation came in the seventh inning — his final plate appearance of the day and likely his last in the blue pinstripes at the Friendly Confines.
Contreras hasn’t been traded yet; as of now, Tuesday wasn’t his last game with the team.
But after 14 years in the Cubs organization and seven big-league seasons, Contreras is appreciative of those who have supported him all these years.
“They know how much I care about business. They care about baseball, care about the Chicago Cubs,” Contreras said.
“I would like to thank all the fans because the love and support they showed me from Day 1 is priceless. And they always are going to keep living in my heart.”