Down three games to none, and with both Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta unavailable to pitch, the Cubs are putting their faith in Rowengartner for tonight’s game four matchup against the Mets. Yes, that Rowengartner.
As ESPN reports, Thomas Ian Nicholas, the actor who portrayed 12-year-old pitching sensation Henry Rowengartner in the 1993 film Rookie of the Year, will be in attendance for tonight’s game. Not only that, but he’ll be wearing a Rowengartner jersey for the first time since filming concluded.
“Usually when I go to the game, I wear the jersey the Cubs made for me with my last name, Nicholas, on it, but I called the team and I said, ‘Can you make a Rowengartner jersey for me?,'” Nicholas told ESPN. “I’ve never done that. I haven’t worn a Rowengartner jersey since the movie, but I feel like we kind of need it right now. It’s kind of like my rally cap.”
In the film, Nicholas’ character successfully pitches the Cubs past the Mets to advance to the World Series. The real-life Cubs are so desperate to replicate such an outcome, they’ve flown in Nicholas specifically to attend the game. (He originally planned to be in Disneyland to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.)
“When we found out the Cubs were going up against the Mets, it was amazing. It’s just like the movie. It’s like art imitating life, life imitating art. The parallels are uncanny. I wanted to be there, and now I feel like I need to be there. I need to bring some good luck to Wrigley Field. I don’t know what the heck is going on with the Cubs.”
Revisit the trailer for Rookie of the Year below.