CHICAGO — When first baseman Justin Bour envisioned his debut at Wrigley Field, it didn’t include him wearing the visiting club’s uniform.
But that’s what he found himself donning Friday afternoon for the series opener between the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs.
Bour, who was acquired by the Marlins in the Triple-A phase of the 2013 Rule 5 draft, batted .330 with 20 doubles, nine homers and 36 RBI in 55 games for the New Orleans Zephyrs prior to his call-up on Wednesday.
Chicago originally selected him in the 25th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of George Mason University. Over five minor-league seasons in the Cubs organization, Bour averaged a .270 clip with 22 doubles, 15 homers and 77 RBI.
The 26-year-old went 2 for 5 with an RBI in his big-league debut on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"I thought I was going to make it to Wrigley in a different way, but I’m glad I did make it," Bour said. "It didn’t work out the way I planned (with the Cubs), but I’m here and I’m very blessed and very thankful."
Second baseman Rafael Furcal continues to work back from various leg injuries in the hope of making his 2014 debut.
Furcal, who began the season on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain, had to halt his rehab assignments twice because of a left groin strain. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 22 to make room on the 40-man roster.
"I’ve heard probably the most encouraging thing is he’s moving around better, he’s feeling good and he’s able to go left and right," manager Mike Redmond said. "His legs look in shape and the swing’s coming around too."
The 36-year-old started four games with Double-A Jacksonville in late April before the injury. He tested it out again on May 2 and had to shut it down.
In 10 total rehab games with Single-A Jupiter, Furcal has hit .303 with five runs and an RBI. He went hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout, walk and run scored in his first start back with the Suns on Thursday.
A key for him is starting consecutive days and playing games in their entirety.
"It’s just a matter of him being able to continue to stay healthy and move around," Redmond said. "I’m not sure when that day will come when he’s ready, but all the reports I’ve gotten have been encouraging that he’s on his way to Miami at some point."
REDMOND AND WRIGLEY
As Wrigley Field commemorates its 100th anniversary this season, many memories will be celebrated.
One that will not, however, is Redmond’s fondest at the Friendly Confines: the 2003 National League Championship Series.
Redmond was the backup catcher for the club that rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS to reach the World Series, where they would take down the New York Yankees in six games for the organization’s second title.
"We’ll never forget those playoffs games here having to beat (Mark) Prior, (Kerry) Wood," Redmond said. "For us, those were great memories."
In eight games (seven starts) at Wrigley, Redmond hit .250 with a double and an RBI.
Although most players hate day games, Wrigley proves to be an exception. Since it resides in a neighborhood, almost all of the games take place during the day.
"I’ve always enjoyed the atmosphere," Redmond said. "It’s hard to describe unless you’ve been here. It’s just special. You feel it with the organist and when you’re out here stretching. It’s got a different vibe."
Miami drafted nine players on Day 2: University of Arkansas second baseman Brian Anderson (third round), Chipola College (Florida) left-hander Michael Mader (Supplemental), Edison High (California) shortstop Brian Schales (fourth), Granada High (California) center fielder Casey Soltis (fifth), Texas Tech lefty Chris Sadberry (sixth), American Heritage School (Florida) shortstop Anfernee Seymour (seventh), George Ranch High (Texas) center fielder Stone Garrett (eighth), Oregon State lefty Ben Holmes (ninth) and Texas southpaw Dillon Peters (10th).