Over 40 million people witnessed the Chicago Cubs’ first World Series victory since 1908 as they defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in a heart-pounding, 10-inning game. While so many watched, only 25 players’ names will forever be the team that reversed the curse in Chicago.
Among those 25 players is Ole Miss’ own Chris Coghlan. Coghlan was a first team All-SEC third baseman for the Rebels before being drafted by the, then, Florida Marlins. Eventually making his way to the big leagues in 2009, Coghlan played with the Marlins from 2009-2013 and went on to sign with the Cubs as a free agent in 2014. He was traded to the Oakland A’s before the 2016 regular season but was dealt back to the Cubs in June.
With RF Jason Hayward struggling for the Cubs, Coghlan was called upon to contribute throughout the playoffs and the World Series, including Game 7 with a crucial slide to help break up a potential double play.
Among the 40 plus million watching was Coghlan’s former manager, Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. Bianco was Coghlan’s guest for Game 6 in Cleveland and has been enjoying watching his former star on the biggest stage of America’s pastime.
“I think you’re always proud of former players, especially when they make it to the Big Leagues. But when they make it to the pinnacle of our sport with the best players in the world, as Chris said, it’s a kid’s dream when you’re growing up,” Bianco said. “I talked to Chris before game six during batting practice, and he was so humble. He was sincerely blessed to be a part of this series. He was cognizant of him not only being in the Big Leagues but playing in the World Series with the Chicago Cubs and having a chance to win their first championship in over 100 years and how significant that was.”
While Bianco wasn’t able to be at Game 7, he was able to revel in Coghlan’s success and triumph as he watched the postgame celebration.
“I took a picture of our television screen because it showed, in slow motion, that Chris was the guy about to jump onto the dog pile. So I sent that picture to him and just told him congrats and that I was proud of him,” Bianco said.
While the celebration in Chicago has only just begun, maybe Coghlan will bring the party (and the hardware) back to Oxford.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.