Jake Arrieta was feeling a bit nostalgic about his return to Chicago and Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
During a 15-minute news conference in the visitor’s dugout at Wrigley Field, Arrieta reminisced on old memories and reflected on some of his best games in the Cubs uniform, including the 2015 National League Wildcard Game when he pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out eleven batters while allowing only five hits.
At the end of last season, Arrieta knew his time with the Cubs was limited. After a slow free-agent market this offseason, Arrieta eventually signed a three-year contract worth $75 million in March with the Phillies.
Arrieta admitted that he wish he could start against the Cubs this series.
“It would’ve been really cool to get on that mound again, but really just being in this ballpark,” Arrieta said. “Just watching the game from this closely and having the fans right on top of you, it’s hard to put into words how cool it is.”
Arrieta wanted to make it clear that he has the upmost appreciation for the Cubs organization and their fanbase. He shared a heartfelt message to Cubs fans, thanking them for supporting him through the rollercoaster that was the last five seasons.
“Thank you for the support through thick and thin, through the rough times of 2013 and ’14 — believing in me, and rest of the team and taking that journey with us throughout 2016 and even ’17 when it seemed like it was a no-brainer that we were going to be in the postseason and play deep into October and have a chance to win a World Series year-in and year-out. And to have 40,000-plus here each and every night — bitter cold or humid heat — it meant a lot to us. It meant a lot to me and my family and definitely meant a lot to Cooper. I think a big part of him will be a Cubs fan for life. And that’s very special to me, so thanks to all the fans for that.”
After hearing Arrieta’s emotional thank you, Cubs fans could barely hold themselves together on Twitter.