Everyone wants a piece of history. The Chicago Cubs know this. And they’re capitalizing on it: the club sent emails to season-ticket holders on Tuesday offering to sell them leaves of Wrigley Field ivy from the 2016 season.
The cost: $200 per leaf. Plus $15 shipping and handling. The email said that there are, appropriately, 2,016 ivy leaves available. Limit ten per customer. I assume there is a certificate of authenticity involved. It’d be a shame if you were sold fake foliage.
This is nothing new, of course. The Yankees and a lot of other teams have sold dirt — just dirt from the field — for a significant chunk of change. The Chicago Blackhawks once sold melted ice from their 2013 Stanley Cup championship season. Melted ice is, of course, just water. It set you back $99 if you wanted some.
It’s your money. Do what you want with it. But know that, if you spend $200 for a dang ivy leaf, you WILL be cited in some article chronicling the degeneracy and downfall of western civilization some day. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Not that it’s all bad. With the ivy gone we’ll be better able to see the wall the purchasers of the ivy will be lined up against when the revolution comes.
Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.
Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.
Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.