May 18, 2024


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Chicago Cubs reliever Luke Little was forced to change his glove with an American flag patch

Chicago Cubs reliever Luke Little was forced to change his glove with an American flag patch

CHICAGO — Cubs outfielder Luke Little, a 6-foot-8 left-handed infielder with a fastball that averages 97 mph, briefly went viral for no other reason than his baseball talent.

“I Hate to Say I Told You So,” a fast-paced rock song by The Hives, blared from the sound system at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night as umpire Andy Fletcher approached Little during a pitch change. Little paused his warm-up routine with one out in the top of the seventh inning. Fletcher asked Little to change into his black glove, which had a small red, white and blue patch.

“The problem was the American flag was on his glove,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said after a 4-3 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday. “They're very strict about no white on pitchers' gloves. Obviously the flag can be a distraction for a hitter.

The advisor went to the field for an explanation before Little finally got a glove that passed inspection. He didn't do much of his job against the middle of Houston's lineup, getting a ground ball from Yordan Alvarez and hitting Kyle Tucker. Less than an hour after the match ended, Little posted a GIF of Hulk Hogan to X, formerly Twitter. “Proud to be an American,” Little wrote above a photo of Hogan playing Stars and Stripes guitar. “Go cubs go.”

Little, 23, was drafted by the Cubs in the fourth round of the 2020 draft out of San Jacinto College in Texas. He made his major league debut last September and posted a 0.00 ERA in seven games. He is expected to be a bigger part of the Cubs bullpen this year.

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Little told the Associated Press that he has used the glove in question since he was a first-ball pitcher, adding that the replacement glove found by a Cubs homestand had not yet been broken.

“The clubs told me they received an email from MLB saying I'm not allowed to wear it,” Little told the AP. “But I didn’t assume they were about to (do it).” It's not like he has an advantage in the game. It's not like he's blinding hitters. “Just representing my country.”

(Photo: Michael Reeves/Getty Images)