Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Kris Bryant Can Always Count On This From Cubs Fans At Wrigley


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The start of 2024 has been a roller coaster for former Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant. It’s been quite the ride for him since being traded at the deadline in 2021 to the San Francisco Giants. He went from a Cubs team heading nowhere fast to a Giants team on their way to winning 100 games. They did that, but they bounced from the playoffs early.

In free agency, Bryant made a generally surprising decision to sign with the Colorado Rockies long-term. A year prior, the Rockies basically paid the St. Louis Cardinals to take All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado from them. They are also a team nobody sees or continues to see as a competitive threat in the NL West division. So when Bryant chose them as a high-caliber free agent, it was something that did not add up for most people.

Nonetheless, the Rockies have certainly not gotten what they were expecting. Due to injury, Bryant played just 42 games in 2022 and 80 in 2023. Combined, that is not even an entire season. The Rockies are not expected to compete in 2024. But they’d certainly like to see Bryant have a bounce-back year and return to form.

Athletic Piece Gives Insight On Kris Bryant’s Decision

Early in spring training, the Athletic published an article all about Kris Bryant and his decision to sign with the Rockies. It talked about how expectations for Bryant were historically high before he even stepped onto the Wrigley Field surface. But he met every expectation in the first three years. He was the Rookie of the Year in 2015 and the MVP in 2016. Oh, and he helped bring the Cubs their first World Championship in 108 years.

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There was nothing left for Bryant to prove to anyone after 2017 when he finished seventh in the MVP vote. He made a franchise once known as the “Lovable Losers” one of the premier teams in baseball in less than a year. But the pressure and spotlight remained on him to do it over and over again in Chicago. He was an All-Star and batted .282 with 31 home runs in 2019. However, people still complained he wasn’t what he “used to be.”

As spring of 2022 approached and Bryant was still not signed, he did not want to wait around to hear about other teams and opportunities. The Rockies offered and he accepted. He wanted to get to camp. He said he did not research to see who was going to be good or what prospects were due to come up. But after the career he had leading up to this moment, he was looking for two things. He wanted the lights to be dimmer and he wanted to play close to home. That’s what playing in Colorado gives him.

Bryant loves the game and he loves the opportunity he has playing for the Rockies. The roles have reversed – he can now be the veteran a team full of young players can lean on and look up to. But Chicago will always remember him as the phenom who came and conquered all. For that, he’ll always be greeted in Chicago warmly.

Cubs Fans, Wrigleyville Will Always Show Their Love For Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant left a lasting impression on Cubs fans and those in and around Wrigleyville. He has signed photos and memorabilia all over bars and restaurants around the stadium. There is still a large, colorful mural of Kris Bryant at the corner of Clark and Eddy on the side of HVAC. And he’s still a part of Sluggers and their batting cages with his Red Bull promotion. He’s still just as important to the Cubs as he was when he was here.

For that, every game Bryant plays at Wrigley will be unlike any other away game he plays. The game will have to stop and he will always have to tip his cap to a roaring crowd of no less than 38,000 when he comes to bat for the first time in any game. When Bryant returned in September of 2021 as a Giant, he received it in a pre-game tribute and in every at-bat of all three games. His first time here as a Rockie, he was hurt. However, he received a resounding ovation when shown on the video board. Last September, his third return was just as loud and emotional as the first.

And just this past Monday on Opening Day, Bryant received as roaring of an ovation as any of those other times. 40,000 strong in the cold and rain rose to their feet to pay tribute to one of the most beloved Cubs in history. It lasted less than seven years, but Bryant provided a lifetime of memories no Cubs fan will ever be able to thank enough for. Prepare yourselves, Cubs fans. Becuase Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo will be making their returns this year, too. All the feels.

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