The Cubs didn’t make the playoffs in the traditional manner and were theoretically eliminated from playoff contention in May, but they will appear in the postseason thanks to rookie second baseman Darwin Barney who was the lucky winner of MLB’s Holiday Inn Road to October Sweepstakes.

“I’ve been a big fan of sweepstakes since I was a kid growing up in Oregon, so I figured I’d give the contest a shot,” said Barney. “I really had no idea I’d win, but this is great.”

Barney said he’ll be taking all of his teammates with him so they can feel what it would have been like to advance into October as a group.

“At first the league was reluctant to let me claim the prize because I guess employees of the league and its teams aren’t technically eligible,” said Barney. “That made me really sad but then for some reason they let me keep the prize and take all my teammates with me.”

That reason for allowing Barney to win despite the rules was sympathy, according to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.

“That kid is just so cute I couldn’t stand to break his little heart,” said Selig. “Plus we’ve known all season the only way the Cubs would get to participate in the 2011 postseason would be some stunt like this, so why not?”