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In this Nov. 13, 2019, file photo, Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein speaks at a media availability during the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo / Matt York, File)

Theo Epstein, who transformed the long-suffering Chicago Cubs and helped bring home a drought-busting championship in 2016, is stepping down after nine seasons as the club’s president of baseball operations.

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In this July 28, 2020, file photo, Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu looks up after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning in the second baseball game of the team's doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak, File)

The first baseman from Cuba got 21 of the 30 first-place ballots in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

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In this Aug. 30, 2014, file photo, former Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa stands with his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque before the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton, File)

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa blew out a tire on the grey Lexus he was driving in a collision with a curb that left the vehicle smoking when he was arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges in February, according to an affidavit filed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

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In this Aug. 30, 2014, file photo, former Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa stands with his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque before the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton, File)

Tony La Russa, the Hall of Famer who won a World Series with the Oakland Athletics and two more with the St. Louis Cardinals, is returning to manage the Chicago White Sox 34 years after they fired him.

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Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria watches as players practice during a baseball workout in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. (AP Photo / Jeff Chiu)

The White Sox announced Monday Renteria won't return after he led them to a 35-25 record in his pandemic-shortened fourth year. They ended a string of seven consecutive losing seasons with their first playoff appearance since 2008.

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All season long, a fan in the south suburbs has scored all 63 games – and then illustrated the scorecards with original artwork.

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Patrons at the Big Star Wrigleyville restaurant Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, are seated in a social distant manner on West Patterson Ave., across from Wrigley Field during a baseball game between the Cubs and St Louis Cardinals in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

As MLB sprints through two months, the businesses in the neighborhoods surrounding the stadiums that rely so heavily on thousands making their way through the turnstiles 81 times a year are struggling, their futures murky at best.

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(WTTW News)

Amid uncertainty in Chicago and across the nation, a ray of hope: Chicago’s baseball teams are in first place, and the city’s beloved Bears pulled off a miracle comeback. Can professional sports actually be a tonic for tough times?

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In this July 24, 2020, file photo, members of the St. Louis Cardinals wait to be introduced before the start of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in St. Louis. (AP Photo / Jeff Roberson, File)

The entire three-game series between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis at Busch Stadium was postponed Friday night after two more Cardinals players and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

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In this July 24, 2020, file photo, members of the St. Louis Cardinals wait to be introduced before the start of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in St. Louis. (AP Photo / Jeff Roberson, File)

The Cardinals have been off since last Friday, when two players returned positive coronavirus tests. Eight players in total have tested positive, including star catcher Yadier Molina. 

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In this July 22, 1977, file photo, people portraying ghost players emerge from a cornfield as they reenact a scene from the movie “Field of Dreams” at the movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.  (AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall, File)

The game at a newly constructed ballpark on the cornfield adjacent to the site of the 1989 movie had been scheduled for Aug. 13 in Dyersville, Iowa.

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Chicago Cubs fans wait for a ball outside of Wrigley Field before the Opening Day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers in Chicago, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

While Major League Baseball is beginning this season without fans in its stadiums, the famed ballhawks of Wrigley Field remain at their post amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Game day in Wrigleyville on Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Erica Gunderson / WTTW News)

In any other year, a parking spot near Wrigley Field on a game day would be a mirage or a miracle. But on the third day of the 2020 baseball season, parking spots were easy to find, and the cheek-to-jowl lines were nonexistent.

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Wrigley Field is viewed from a nearby rooftop before an opening day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers in Chicago, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

Little about this pandemic-delayed season is routine — but for fans looking to see major league baseball live, there are few options besides the rooftops along Waveland and Sheffield avenues.

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Sandra Bilger, left, and Dustin Moore take a photo in front of the marquee at Wrigley Field before an opening day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers in Chicago, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

The Cubs were about to open their season at long last against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, and it sure sounded like a packed house at Wrigley Field. Of course, no fans were allowed inside the famed ballpark. The noise was piped in.

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New York Yankees’ Clint Frazier, left, watches his two-run home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning of a baseball spring training game Saturday, July 18, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo / Adam Hunger)

A baseball season that was on the brink before it ever began because of the virus outbreak is set to start Thursday night.