Fremd grad Tauchman finally gets chance to play at Wrigley

Cubs outfielder Mike Tauchman has played six seasons in the major leagues, but Tuesday was the first time the Palatine native played a game at Wrigley Field.

The schedule just never lined up. He was called up by Colorado during the 2017 and '18 seasons, but missed the trip. Then he spent parts of three seasons with the Yankees, who play in the American League. Finally, he was sent down to the minors before San Francisco visited in September 2021, which was memorable for being Kris Bryant's return to Wrigley.

“I'm very fortunate to have gotten to experience a lot and this was one of the things I hadn't gotten to experience yet,” Tauchman said before the game. “So the fact that it's going to happen tonight is pretty special.”

Tauchman rose to the occasion. He started in center field, hit a double to the right-field wall and scored a run.

“That was the team we rooted for in my house,” he said. “We'd go (to Cubs games) every once in a while. I probably went to more once I got to high school. We'd go to minor league games when I was a little kid. But yeah, it's always special coming here.”

Last season, Tauchman played for the Hanwha Eagles in the Korean league. He and his wife Eileen enjoyed the experience enough that they planned to go back, but he said contract negotiations hit a snag.

“Shortly after that, the Cubs expressed some interest,” Tauchman said. “Talking with my wife about finally playing kind of close to home, even if it was in Iowa. There was a lot that was really appealing.”

Tauchman did play 24 games for Triple A Iowa, but was called up when center fielder Cody Bellinger went on the injured list last week.

Tauchman was a two-sport athlete at Fremd High School, then played baseball at Bradley. He was a 10th-round pick of the Rockies in 2013.

One of his claims to fame in high school was playing quarterback and leading Fremd to a victory over Rolling Meadows and future NFL QB Jimmy Garoppolo. As a junior, Tauchman played wide receiver, while another future NFL player, Scott Tolzien, was at quarterback.

“Those were some good times back then,” Tauchman said. “That was a great team (with Tolzien in 2007), ended up losing to Glenbard North (in the 8A quarterfinals). (He and Garoppolo) have never met, but it's cool anytime anybody from the area goes on to have a lot of success.”

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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Before he was a Cub, Fremd's Mike Tauchman played baseball at Fremd High school. Daily Herald file photo
Before he was a Cub, Fremd's Mike Tauchman played baseball at Fremd High school. Daily Herald file photo
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