CHICAGO (WGN) – When the news of his trade came across around 3 p.m. CDT on July 30th, Cubs fans immediately went to the calendars to see when one of the faces of their franchise would be returning in another jersey.
To be fair, Kris Bryant might have been doing the same thing, too.
When they looked at the August and September schedules for the 2021 season, there was a series at Wrigley Field that would feature the former MVP making his return to Chicago to face his old team in the second weekend of September.
That began on Friday at 1:20 PM as San Francisco is visiting the Cubs to begin a three-game set that will feature Bryant facing his old team for the first time in his career.
The Cubs welcomed back the four-time All-Star and two-time National League MVP back to the “Friendly Confines” by first showing a pregame video of Bryant’s time in Chicago.
Bryant was then introduced to the crowd as he walked behind home to acknowledge the fans, former players, while also greeting members of the Cubs’ front office.
Minutes later in the top of the first inning, Bryant received a standing ovation as he came up to the plate as a member of the Giants for the first time. Former teammate Kyle Hendricks struck out the left fielder in that at-bat as Bryant finished the afternoon 0-for-3 with a walk.
San Francisco won the game 6-1 to start the three-game series as Bryant enjoyed his emotional return to Wrigley Field with only positive memories on his mind.
“I feel like I’ve made the choice to look back on my time here and just smile at it because it was nothing but smiles,” said Bryant to reporters before the game. “There were definitely some harder times. If you were to tell me when I got drafted I would spend six-and-a-half years here and win a world series and an MVP and Rookie of the Year, four All-Stars games, and tons of great memories, I would tell you ‘You’re crazy.’
“For such a organization like the Chicago Cubs, playing in Wrigley Field every single day, that’s amazing.”
So was Bryant for a lot of the time he called the “Friendly Confines” home.