Five months ago, David Bote had never stepped foot on the Wrigley Field sod.
Sunday night, he was hugging Bill Freakin' Murray on that same hallowed grass..
It's the kind of wild ride you couldn't even write a script about in Hollywood. You'd get turned away for concocting a story too far-fetched to be believed by the masses.
Yet this is actually happening to Bote, a 25-year-old rookie from Longmont, Colo.
Every time it seems like his rise has reached its plateau, he finds a way to upstage it.
But it's going to be pretty difficult to top Sunday night's heroics.
A guy nicknamed "Hollywood" (Cole Hamels) was on the mound for the Cubs, but it was a kid taking his 91st career big-league plate appearance that stole the show.
Bote's walk-off two-out, two-strike grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning was not only the best moment of the Cubs' season, but it was one of the best moments in franchise history:
David Bote: first #Cubs ultimate grand slam (walkoff grand slam down 3 runs) since Ellis Burton 8/31/1963— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) August 13, 2018
You can't make this stuff up:
Some people think baseball is boring. 😂 😂 😂 pic.twitter.com/InmaykQ5ZO— MLB (@MLB) August 13, 2018
David Bote bat flip 💦💦💦 pic.twitter.com/DsJsK35dSh— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) August 13, 2018
Legends. pic.twitter.com/DMqTKN99J5— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 13, 2018
"When you round those bases and we got the W and I'm seeing my teammates at home plate jumping around because we got the win, it's magical," Bote said. "It's incredible. It's an unbelievable feeling. It couldn't happen to a better team, a better group of people in that clubhouse. And I'm so blessed and honored to be a part of that."
Bote struggled a bit at the plate in the first two games of the Nationals series, going 1-for-7 with 3 strikeouts and a walk.
The Nationals were hammering him low and inside Saturday, using sinkers and two-seamers with great effeciency against the rookie.
In the span of a day, he realized it, adjusted to it and made the change in game action against a guy (Ryan Madson) who has been one of the best relievers in the game for the last decade-plus.
Some veterans with thousands of plate appearances under their belt can't make adjustments like that as fast as a kid playing his 34th career MLB game.
"Yesterday, they got me a lot with the two-seam sinkers down and in all game," Bote said. "I knew Madson had the sinker, I knew he had the four-seamer and I had to pick one.
"Today, I was like, 'You know, I'm not gonna get beat down there today.' And so the one that was down and away he called a strike, I was like, 'Ugh, I was looking there.' It was a close pitch, obviously I'm just in the heat of the moment.
"I got that pitch and I was like, 'Just get it in the air.' That was my thing — hit it as hard as I can to center field and get underneath it. That was my approach."
Obviously that approach worked to perfection.
It's not just that Bote hit a grand slam and the Cubs won the game.
It was a series-turning play. Instead of the Cubs going into their off-day having just been shut out by the Nationals, dropped a series at home against a team trying to get back into the playoff race and only 2 games ahead in the division, they now dealt a potential knockout blow to Washington, have a 3-game lead in the division and some unreal momentum entering a two-game set with the Brewers Tuesday.
And this is the second time Bote has delivered such a huge swing in Cubs momentum, having hit a game-tying homer on an 0-2 pitch in the bottom of the ninth against the Arizona Diamondbacks last month, setting the table for Anthony Rizzo's walk-off a moment later.
The best perspective on the whole ordeal is Cole Hamels, who admitted he didn't even know who Bote was when he was traded to the Cubs from the Texas Rangers last month:
"This is the ultimate excitement," Hamels said. "It's the thing that when you're a kid in the backyard, and you're visualizing trying to win games, it's always bases loaded, you're down by 3 and you're trying to hit the grand slam. For Bote to be able to do it, what a way to be able to experience that.
"I think all of us that were in the clubhouse, you're jumping around and you're trying to get down there as quick as you can. Just the joy that you get to see everybody be in, especially to lead into an off-day. I know we have a big series coming up against Milwaukee, so this is something to really pick our heads up and use this momentum."