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Cubs’ ‘tip drill’ replicates famous play from 1980 World Series

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) reaches

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) reaches for a ball bounced off from catcher David Ross who was trying catch a foul ball hit by Cleveland Indians' Carlos Santana during the second inning of Game 5 of the World Series Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Chicago. Photo Credit: AP / Nam Y. Huh

CHICAGO — Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and catcher David Ross mirrored a slice of World Series history during Sunday night’s 3-2 win over the Indians, though neither one of them realized it at the time.

Carlos Santana’s second-inning pop-up sent Ross and Rizzo converging in foul territory near the Indians dugout. Initially, Ross appeared to have it tracked down. But when the ball popped out of Ross’ mitt, Rizzo was close enough to tip it into the air before finally securing it with his own glove.

While with the Phillies, Pete Rose pulled off exactly the same play in Game 6 of the 1980 World Series, bailing out his catcher Bob Boone.

Perhaps Looking for a good sign with the Cubs trailing 3 games to 2 in this year’s World Series, Rizzo asked, “did they win the World Series?” When informed that the Phillies had won, he responded simply, “nice.”

The Cubs forced Game 6 in Cleveland on Tuesday partly because they played sparkling defense in Game 5, which featured Jason Heyward’s leaping catch against the side wall in right and Kris Bryant’s diving stop of a smash to his right at third base.

Then, there was Rizzo and Ross narrowly giving the dangerous Santana another chance to sway the outcome of a close game.

“It was tough, the wind’s blowing, (Ross) made the play on it and it popped out of his glove,” Rizzo said. “I always try to be there on tough plays to get the rebound.”

“Tip drill,” Ross joked, using a football term. “That’s what I told him. We practice it.”

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