#MLBPlayers411 | Mike Montgomery
Today's #MLBPlayers411 subject will forever live in Chicago Cubs lore. Reliever Mike Montgomery will be remembered by Cubs nation as the guy who shut the door on the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, en route to the club's first title since 1908. But while Mike's first-career save will probably go down has his biggest, his journey to that moment began long before trotting out of the bullpen with a chance to make history in the 10th inning that night in Cleveland.
Mike was selected by the Royals in the first round of the 2008 draft out of William S. Hart High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., and was touted as the organization's sixth-best prospect, however, he didn't make his big-league debut for another seven years .
The Mission Hills, Calif., native was part of a blockbuster trade that sent him, along with Jake Odorizzi and Wil Myers to the Rays for James Shield and his current Cubs teammate Wade Davis. Still unable to crack a big-league roster, the Rays sent Mike to Seattle in 2015.
A starter back then, Mike dazzled in his big-league debut with the Mariners on June 2, 2015, holding the Yankees to just one run on four hits over six innings. Three weeks later, Mike became the first Mariners left-handed pitcher to throw a complete game shutout, getting 10 strikeouts walking none along the way. Another week later, Mike tossed his second-straight complete-game shutout, becoming the first Mariners pitcher since Freddy Garcia in 2001 to do so.
Some of Mike's passion for the game and his ability could be chalked up to genetics. His mother, Jeannette, played softball and basketball at Cal Poly Pomona and claims she passed along her enthusiasm for sports to her son. In fact, she used to be his throwing partner during the offseason.
“I'd throw curveballs, changeups, everything,” Mike told MLB.com. “She was catching 'em all and saying, ‘That's all you've got?' I'm like, "Dang, I can't even impress my mom.'”
Like he was at the end of the 2016 campaign, Mike is once again an integral part of the Cubs''s bullpen in 2017. Owner of a 1.17 ERA, Mike has already pitched a team-high 23 innings out of the bullpen this season.
Check out some photos of Mike here.