Back to the Future Part II did predict the Cubs to win the 2015 World Series. However, Marty McFly never led Chicago to a title.
Henry Rowengartner did. And he is coming to Wrigley Field on Wednesday.
"When we found out the Cubs were going up against the Mets, it was amazing," Thomas Ian Nicholas, who played Rowengartner in Rookie of the Year, told ESPN. "It's just like the movie. It's like art imitating life, life imitating art. The parallels are uncanny. I wanted to be there, and now I feel like I need to be there. I need to bring some good luck to Wrigley Field. I don't know what the heck is going on with the Cubs."
Nicholas, 35, would have come for Game 3 had he not made plans to spend his son's fourth birthday at Disneyland (holy crap, Henry Rowengartner has a son). He was on a 7 a.m. PT flight Wednesday from Los Angeles to Chicago.
Nicholas has made annual Wrigley Field appearances for the past decade, but this postseason trek is different. Rather than throw out the first pitch or sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," both of which he has done multiple times (like the picture below), Nicholas is going back into character.
Still got it. Henry Rowengartner, err.. we mean Thomas Ian Nicholas, fires in today's ceremonial first pitch. pic.twitter.com/gMuRt1TsfX
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 12, 2014
"Usually when I go to the game, I wear the jersey the Cubs made for me with my last name, Nicholas, on it, but I called the team and I said, 'Can you make a Rowengartner jersey for me?'" Nicholas says. "I've never done that. I haven't worn a Rowengartner jersey since the movie, but I feel like we kind of need it right now. It's kind of like my rally cap."
Cubs fans, are you listening? The flamethrower is returning. The kid prodigy. The closer who shut down the Mets in the fictional NLCS is back!
In his interview, Nicholas revealed a few secrets about the movie. Many of the Wrigley Field shots were taken in between games of a Sept. 19 doubleheader against the Cardinals.
"The first time that Henry walks to the mound against the Mets and they do a 360-degree shot of me and the stadium is full, those are real fans in the middle of the doubleheader," Nicholas says. "[Director and actor] Daniel Stern had gotten on the mic and told them the story of what we were doing and what we were going to shoot, and they of course went nuts. So he said, 'When he walks up to the mound, I want you to chant, 'We want Henry!' So 35,000 people were chanting, 'We want Henry!' as I walked to the mound. If 35,000 people tell you your name is Henry, your name is Henry for two minutes."
When the Cubs trailed the Cardinals during the second game, fans again started a "We want Henry!" chant.
Nicholas has seen some of the cast since the film. He saw Gary Busey, who played veteran Chet "Rocket" Steadman in 2000, although Nicholas says, "I wasn't quite sure if he remembered me…but he was nice." Nicholas was 12 at the time of filming.
Nicholas did praise Busey's role on set, saying:
"At the time, he was still able to pretend to be normal on camera. He was always crazy. He's always been crazy. I'm watching him now, and that's how he was on the set. He's just a little older and a little crazier now. Gary was the nicest to me, and he once carried me by my underwear across the lunch room in front of the entire cast and crew. Again, I repeat, Gary was the nicest to me."
Nicholas also saw Stern, who played pitching coach Phil Brickma, at a Bruce Springsteen concert in 2003 and Neil Flynn, who played first baseman Okie. Flynn went on to star in Scrubs and The Middle Nicholas also landed a prominent role as Kevin Myers in the American Pie series. Still, it is Rookie of the Year that Chicagoans know Nicholas for. "I love that," he says about the film's Illinois legacy.
Nicholas acts on a minimal basis now, recently playing Walt Disney in "Walt Before Mickey." However, his love is in music, as he tours with his rock group, the Thomas Nicholas Band. The group has released four albums since 2008 and he will play across the street from Wrigley Field after Wednesday's game.
— Thomas Ian Nicholas (@TINBand) October 21, 2015
One other interesting tidbit: Nicholas still gets flak about Rowengartner's hidden ball trick/pick-off move.
"There are a lot of people that will argue that Henry balked in the final sequence in the final game against the Mets," Nicholas says. "So you're going to haggle with me over the fact that Henry balked against the Mets but not over the fact that he has a 100-mile-per-hour fastball as a 12-year-old in the major leagues?"
Although it may have been scripted, Nicholas knows the feeling of beating the Mets in the NLCS and winning the World Series. The Cubs need one last gasp of luck, and Rowengartner…Nicholas will try to bring it.
More specifically, float it.