It was, as Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post writes, "nothing short of one of the most thrilling baseball games ever played." And in the aftermath of the Cubs' World Series victory, players are talking about a late pep talk from quiet outfielder Jason Heyward. He called a players-only meeting during a rain delay after the ninth, when the Cubs were reeling after blowing a late three-run lead, reports CNN. "He spoke up and said, 'This is about your teammates,'" recalls catcher David Ross, per USA Today. "These are your brothers here, fight for your brothers, lift them up." Several players were moved to tears, including Game 6 star Addison Russell, notes a post at Knuckleball.
Heyward himself explains that it was a "venting thing" for him. "I just had to let them know that I loved them. I had to let them know that we had 113 wins because we had overcome every bit of adversity that we've had thrown at us to this point. We needed 114 wins, and I told them everybody in this room could go out and get this 114th." They did, in the very next inning. Heyward has taken flak this year over the perception that he hasn't lived up to his $184 million contract on the field. In fact, he went just 3-for-15 during the World Series. But at a key moment, "Jason Heyward led the way," said teammate Kris Bryant.