Ryan Madson

Jason Heyward appreciated Ryan Madson's classy gesture after notching 1,000th career hit

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USA TODAY

Jason Heyward appreciated Ryan Madson's classy gesture after notching 1,000th career hit

Lost amid another bullpen meltdown by the Cubs bullpen Sunday, Jason Heyward picked up his 1,000th career hit in his eighth big-league season.

Heyward lined a double to left field off Ryan Madson with two outs in the eighth inning, roughly 10 minutes after Carl Edwards Jr. had served up a game-changing grand slam to Nationals catcher Matt Wieters.

The Wrigley crowd of 41,047 fans gave Heyward a huge ovation, rising to their feet as the gigantic outfield video boards alerted them to Heyward's milestone.

Madson also took time to let Heyward revel in the moment.

The veteran reliever stayed off the mound after backing up third base and took his time, playing with the rosin bag and not rushing the moment as the Cubs corraled the baseball for Heyward to keep and treasure.

Heyward understood Madson's gesture and clapped back at the pitcher in appreciation.

"He didn't have to. I appreciate it," Heyward said. "I've actually faced him since my rookie year. It's a cool gesture that he did that, but he didn't have to."

When Heyward broke into the big leagues in 2010 with the Atlanta Braves, Madson was a top setup man for the Philadelphia Phillies. The following year, Madson was the Phillies' closer before missing the 2012-14 seasons with a flurry of injuries.

The two had faced each other six times prior to Sunday, with Heyward collecting hits in three of those at-bats, including a home run.

Even though he would've much preferred a victory over reaching a milestone, Heyward conceded to the joy in the moment.

"I didn't have any idea what was going on until [first base coach Brandon Hyde] said something to me," Heyward said. "I guess it's cool to have that happen at your home ballpark. Cool to do it as a Cub. Respect to the fans."