January 31, 2023

Over the last five seasons, for pretty much every game of baseball that I watched, you’d find me wearing a replica Jason Heyward jersey. A lot has been written during that period about the wisdom of Heyward’s contract with the Cubs (eight years; $184M), and I don’t aim to add to it here. At his best, I always found Heyward a magnetic player to watch. His game-winning walk-off grand slam against the Phillies in 2018 is something I’ll never forget, and there are plenty of other highlights. Not to mention the consistently stunning defence that won him no fewer than five gold gloves, and the fact that he seems to be a genuinely wonderful person away from the diamond.

The Cubs having released him in November, I’m sure going to miss the guy this coming season.

Heyward’s departure sent me shopping for a new jersey. One consideration is longevity: no one wants to drop money on a shirt, only to find the player has been traded away from the club a season later. Following that logic, I might have picked up a jersey that read SUZUKI #27 (signed through 2026), or even SWANSON #7 (signed through 2029). In the end, however, I went a different direction. When you happen to share a surname with one of your team’s legends, sometimes you have to lean into it!

I could not be more excited to wear this at London Stadium this summer, rooting for the Cubbies in person, for the first time!