There were no hangovers, reddened eyes or hoarse throats.
The Chicago Cubs didn’t bother to celebrate their first NL Central title since 2008 Thursday night.
Since the Cubs lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, they didn’t bother waiting around the clubhouse for an extra two hours for the conclusion of the San Francisco Giants’ 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, clinching the Cubs’ title with 2 ½ weeks still left in the season.
Yet, Cubs veteran catcher David Ross, who is retiring after this season, couldn’t help himself.
He spent the afternoon taking his first L train ride of his life, jumping on the train from his house, switching from the brown train to the red train, and arriving at the Addison and Sheffield stop.
“I don’t think anyone really recognized me,’’ Ross said, “but before the last stop, I saw a guy eye-balling me. When I got off the train, and started walking by people. I got about 25 fist pumps.’’
Ross was going to take his usual way home, taking a pedicab, but none were around after the Cubs’ loss. So he started walking home, and kept stopping every block, taking a peek into neighborhood bars, checking out the Cardinals’ game.
“The great thing about Chicago,’’ Ross said, “there’s a bar every 30 feet. So I kept just poking my head into the window between innings, and walk another block or so along Sheffield Ave.”
He kept walking, and finally stopped when the Giants recorded the final out, and couldn’t help himself.
“I felt I needed to have something in my hand, like a beer or something,’’ Ross said. “So I walked in, and the bartender recognized me, bought a shot.
“He asked me what I wanted, and I said, “I don’t care. I’m just going to throw it down.’’’
It turned out to be a shot of Jameson Irish whiskey, and yes, it went down good.
“I’m not much of a drinker,’’ Ross said, “but it was my personal celebration. This is the last time I’ll clinch a playoff. I figure I better celebrate, at least for myself.’’
Ross threw down the shot, people started shrieking when they realized a Cubs’ player was in their establishment, and Ross jumped in a cab for the rest of the ride home.
“The people around here, it’s cool to see how excited they are. The energy they have. I can’t imagine a guy like being Kris Bryant instead of a backup catcher.’’
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, USA Today.