SAINT LOUIS – The Chicago Cubs announced on Sunday that it had called former Billiken James Norwood from Triple-A affiliate in Iowa to join the parent club in Chicago.


Norwood, a former Billiken standout pitcher, was a seventh-round selection by the Cubs in 2014 and will get his first taste of Major League Baseball on Sunday. The right-handed pitcher was flown to Chicago on Saturday evening prior to a 1:20 p.m. game time in the finale of a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds. John Lester is scheduled to take the hill for Chicago.


“Naturally, we are very happy for James and his family,” said Billiken Head Coach Darin Hendrickson. “He was a great Billiken player and person with a tremendous work ethic. The sky is the limit for him and we wish him all the best.”


Norwood has advanced quickly through the Cubs’ organization, especially over the course of the last few weeks. After beginning the year with the Double-A affiliate Tennessee Smokies, the newest addition to the Chicago Cubs has been nearly unhittable. In just 5.1 innings in Triple-A, Norwood has allowed just three hits and no walks with eight strikeouts. Numbers that will get executives’ attention, which became apparent on Sunday.


Over the course of 2018, Norwood has a 2.13 ERA with two saves and 44 strikeouts in 38 innings. Opponents are hitting just .206 against him this season. Those exciting numbers led to his promotion to Triple-A Iowa in the last week of June, and now to the big club as he will become a major league ballplayer in one of the most historic parks in all of baseball, Wrigley Field.


Norwood is now the 12th Billiken to make it to Major League Baseball. The last Saint Louis ballplayer to suit-up for a Major League game was Len Boehmer in 1971 with the New York Yankees.