Cubs

Illinois native Hermosillo ‘speechless’ after 1st Cubs HR

Cubs

Outfielder Michael Hermosillo didn’t have a chance to check the messages on his phone.

“There was a good amount of notifications, which is awesome to see,” he said after Wednesday’s Cubs win, “but almost too many to answer at once.”

Hermosillo made his first start in a Cubs uniform Wednesday, crushing a no-doubt two-run home run in his second plate appearance with the team. It helped the Cubs beat the Reds 7-1.

As memorable as the moment was, it was extra special for Hermosillo. He’s an Ottawa, Ill. native who grew up a Cubs fan.

“That's one of those things where I wish you could replay that 1,000 times in your head and feel that again,” he said. “It was awesome.”

Hermosillo, 26, went to Cubs games as a kid, during the days of Sammy Sosa, through his teenage years. He even attended a Cubs-Cardinals series at Wrigley Field during a minor-league All-Star break while he was in low-A.

While he dreamed of playing for the Cubs one day, Hermosillo thought he’d make it to Wrigley as an opponent.

“It didn’t even cross my mind that I could be a Cub one day,” he said. “So obviously, this is awesome just to put on this jersey. Just surreal.”

Hermosillo, the Angels’ 28th-round draft pick in 2013, played 56 big-league games from 2018-20. The Cubs signed him to a minor-league deal this past offseason.

 

The Cubs’ outfield depth chart was thin at the time, and Hermosillo saw a chance to prove himself in Triple-A and possibly earn a shot in the big leagues.

“It was one of those things where it felt too right,” he said. “It just didn't seem like a coincidence. 

“Having the Cubs reach out to me right away, being a Cubs fan growing up. It was one of those things where I wasn't going to pass up that opportunity.”

Hermosillo has been one of Triple-A Iowa’s top hitters this season, slashing .306/.446/.592 with 10 home runs in 43 games. The Cubs called him up Tuesday, and he made his team debut as a pinch hitter.

That monster home run was his first hit with the Cubs. Coincidentally, it happened the same game right-hander Adrian Sampson started for Chicago.

Hermosillo’s only other home run in the big leagues came with the Angels in September 2018, when he took Sampson, then with the Rangers, deep.

“I did not know that until just now,” Sampson said postgame. “He never mentioned it to me.”

Said Hermosillo, laughing: “Not once. I may have mentioned it to a couple teammates in Triple-A that I was close with. 

“But I feel like that wasn’t something I was going to bring up. If he wanted to bring it up, sure. But I was going to leave that one alone.”

It's safe to say Hermosillo will be bringing up Wednesday's home run for years to come.

"Sitting back right now, it's awesome to think of hitting a home run in a Cubs uniform, being able to be part of a win," he said.

“I'm kind of speechless in terms of my emotions, just because I haven't really realized it completely yet.”

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