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Former Cubs pitcher Jon Lester buys 4,000 beers for Chicagoans as possible farewell gesture

The free agent pitcher opened tabs at four Chicago bars over Halloween weekend as a gesture of gratitude to his fans.

CHICAGO — Jon Lester made a lot of friends in Chicago when he helped the Cubs end a century-long World Series drought.

He made even more over the weekend.

The free agent pitcher opened tabs at four Chicago bars over Halloween weekend as a gesture of gratitude to his fans.

"Regardless of what's next, I want to thank the fans for the past 6 years," he tweeted on Friday, announcing that he was buying the first Miller Lite for fans at the four specific bars on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Nearly 700 beers were served on Lester's dime Friday night and more than 2,700 more on Halloween, triggering a fraud alert on the player's credit card, he wrote.

On Sunday, 1,372 Miller Lites were passed out, bringing the weekend's total to 4,838 beers. The final tab was $31,000 and each check was covered with a 34-percent tip, matching Lester's jersey number with the Cubs. That brought the bill to $47,000.

"Whether this is goodbye or see you next year, I love you Chicago!" Lester tweeted Monday.

Lester has pitched six seasons with the Cubs, helping the team win its first World Series in 108 years in 2016. He went 1-1 in the World Series against Cleveland, picking up the win in Game 5, which started the Cubs' comeback from a 3-1 series deficit to win the title in seven games. He went 3-1 in the 2016 postseason after a 19-5 regular season and was named MVP of the National League Championship Series.

He has also spent time with Boston and Oakland in his 15-year career, winning two more World Series titles with the Red Sox in 2007 and 2013.