It was Kris Bryant day in San Fransico on Sunday afternoon. The San Fransico faithful was eager to see their newest addition in action at Oracle Park, some of them already donning the number 23 jersey with Bryant’s name on the back.
Fans cheered as he took the field for warmups. The cheers grew louder when his name was announced during the starting lineups. He received a standing ovation as he made his first trip to the plate. After working a full count he went down swinging. It did not matter to Giants fans they cheered him anyway for working along at-bat. They were just happy to see him in a Giant’s uniform.
Before the game, a video was played of Bryant being interviewed in the dugout. He reminisced about his time in Chicago but showed excitement about the new opportunity he had in front of him. Just 48 hours earlier received a call from Jed Hoyer while he was in the dugout. Hoyer informed him that he would be moving on from the only major league team he has ever known. Bryant knew the trade was coming but it didn’t make the news any easier. He hung up the phone and gave Cubs hitting coach Anthony Iapoce a hug with tears in his eyes.
The 29-year old then packed his bags and headed to San Fransico to play for his favorite childhood team. Bryant wanted to play for a winning team. He told Jed Hoyer that.
“I just told him, thank you for trading me to a team like this, because I want to go win a World Series,” Bryant said before Sunday morning before the game.
He thought he was on one with the Cubs. The core of Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant are immortalized for their roles during the 2016 World Series. After ending the Cubs 108 year title drought, it looked like the makings of a dynasty on the North Side until it wasn’t. After woefully underperformed once again in 2021, each was shipped off. Rizzo to the Yankees, Baez to the Mets, and Bryant to the Giants.
In Anthony Rizzo’s debut with the Yankees, he homered in his first at-bat. He was wearing his Chicago Cubs gloves as he rounded the bases. On Saturday night Javier Baez hit a two-run homer to left-center field in his first game in a Mets uniform.
— Enrique Marin (@emarin671) August 1, 2021
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 1, 2021
Bryant was asked about the pressure of watching his two former teammates homer in their first games with their new teams.
“It’s been cool to see what they’ve done in their debuts,” Bryant said. “Maybe there’s some magic here.” The trio would make history together one final time.
Bryant’s eight-pitch first at-bat Saturday paid dividends. His next time up he crushed a line drive 366 feet into the left-field stands. The ball left his bat at 102 mph. Bryant was hustling to first base and did not realize the ball had cleared the fence until he looked upon his way to second base. The ballpark erupted as he touched home plate and a smile grew on his face as he celebrated with his new teammates in the dugout. It would be the first of five runs on the day for the Giants who showed why they are contenders in their 5-3 win over the Houston Astros.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 2, 2021
“I’ve had some really special fan moments in my career that give me goosebumps, and that ranks up there pretty high.
With the home run Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez became the first trio in the modern era to leave one team and each homer in their debut with a different team the same season. The feat leaves Chicago dreaming of what could have been and replaying the glory days of 2016. It wasn’t supposed to end like this.