MLB recently added another classic Cubs game to its video archive available on YouTube with a #MLBAtHome livestream of the 1998 NL Wild Card tiebreaker at Wrigley between the Cubs Giants. While the event ended Thursday night, the video is still available to watch on-demand on MLB’s YouTube channel.
I enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane to my first season of active Cubs fandom, when the Cubs secured their first postseason appearance in nine years behind the MVP season of home run chase runner-up Sammy Sosa. Cubs great Mark Grace was the only member of the 1989 National League Championship Series squad remaining on the 1998 roster.
Grace faced off against former 1989 teammate Shawon Dunston, who made an appearance as a member of the Giants. The game also featured a matchup between former 1993 World Series opponents Mickey Morandini and Joe Carter. Carter’s walk-off home run for the Blue Jays against Mitch Williams, another member of that ’89 Cubs team, in Game 6 defeated the Phillies to give the Jays back-to-back championships. Morandini started at second base for the Cubs in Game 163, while Carter — who played one season for the Cubs as a rookie in 1983 — was the starting right fielder for the Giants.
Steve Trachsel earned his 15th win of the season by going 6.1 shutout innings and striking out six Giants batters, though he made it interesting by walking six more. Trachsel would suffer a severe turnaround of his 15-8 record the next season, winning eight decisions and losing an MLB-leading 18 games in 1999.
Late-season acquisition Gary Gaetti added to his heroic efforts for the Northsiders in 1998, getting the Cubs on the board with a two-run blast off of Giants starter Mark Gardner. Sosa went 2-4 with two runs scored for Chicago. Carter made the final out of the game in the final at-bat of his MLB career, flying out to Grace to give Rod Beck his 51st save.
Longtime fans will remember the Cubs went on to be swept by the Braves in the 1998 NL Division Series, so this game was the capstone for a resurgent season on the North Side. You can watch by visiting MLB’s YouTube channel or by simply clicking below since the video is also embedded right there.