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Today in Cubs history: The Schwarboard home run

Kyle Schwarber hit a home run that we’ll always remember.

Kyle Schwarber watches his home run head toward the RF video board, October 13, 2015
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Game 4 of the Cubs’ division series against the Cardinals in 2015 was a back-and-forth affair. St. Louis scored a pair off Jason Hammel in the first inning, but the Cubs roared back to take the lead with a four-run second. Hammel drove in the first run with a single, then Javier Báez hit a three-run homer.

The Cardinals tied the game with a two-run sixth off Travis Wood, but Anthony Rizzo homered in the bottom of that inning to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead.

That’s where things stood when Kyle Schwarber led off the seventh, with dusk falling at Wrigley Field [VIDEO].

I was in my usual spot in the left field bleachers. I thought the ball had cleared the video board and hit Sheffield Avenue. So did almost everyone at Wrigley... except:

That’s a great photo taken from the right field upper deck, showing the ball had landed on the video board.

My favorite part of the TBS home run call comes right after Brian Anderson’s play-by-play call of “Schwarber sends one high and deep, way back, this ball is long gone!” Analyst Joe Simpson says “Mercy.” That’s followed by Dennis Eckersley saying, “What in the world?” Those two long-time baseball people couldn’t believe it. Neither could anyone else at Wrigley or watching on TV.

The Cubs put a plexiglass cover on the ball and left it in its position on top of the board:

It was later taken down for safekeeping, but placed back on the board in early 2016:

On Monday morning’s “Mully and Hanley” show on WSCR-AM 670, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said the ball is back to where it originally landed after it was taken down after the 2015 season.

Kenney said the ball was taken down in part to prevent anyone from getting the idea of climbing up the board and stealing it.

As of the time of this interview with Schwarber in June 2019, the ball was still in place on top of the board:

“[I was told] it’s still up there. That’s cool. If it stays up there for the rest of the days of Wrigley Field, that would be awesome. ... I went up there once. It was after they cased it. It was me [and] David Ross. We went up there and took pictures with it, and that’s kind of cool.”

I share Kyle’s thoughts — that ball should stay there for “the rest of the days of Wrigley Field.” The Cubs, of course, won that game 6-4 and made the NLCS, the first of three straight championship series appearances.

The Schwarboard home run happened six years ago today.