On Friday afternoon, the Chicago Cubs organization and fans welcomed Kris Bryant and his family back to Wrigley Field for the first time since trading him to the San Francisco Giants at the trade deadline in July.
As a diehard Cubs fan and the ultimate Kris Bryant supporter, I would like to take you through the day from my perspective. In hindsight, it was a day that never had to happen, never should have happened. Yet, here we are.
The day started like many others in the neighborhood. I was in the area early as I always am for a 1:20 start. There’s rounds to make, people to see, Old Styles to consume before heading in. However, this day had a different schedule, and a different feel to it. When I got to the neighborhood, it was an eerie sort of quiet. I found myself in front of the Marquee sign under the team, city and state flags. Cubs vs. Giants, we know who’s in town.
I stood there for a second, took it in, and then went down to the mural of Kris Bryant on the side of HVAC. If you’ve been in Wrigleyville in the last four plus years, you know the one.
Messages from fans began to fill on the lower portion of the mural, ranging from “Good luck in San Francisco” to “Please come back.” It had been exactly 42 days since the trade, but the reality of the situation had yet to set in for most Cubs fans. And also, who’s really counting?