There’s something about witnessing great things in sports. Sure, folks discuss ad naseum the growing salary of “High priced athletes”. There are times when I get a little frustrated with it myself. Then there are times like last night’s 11-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that I get a little giddy. Kris Bryant became the first ball player in the modern era to hit 3 Home Runs and collect two doubles in a game. It’s an outstanding accomplishment and trust me, since I’ve become a parent, I appreciate these events more and more.
“The best game of my whole life, obviously,” Bryant said. “To hear that, there’s so many good players in this game, it’s just, I feel so fortunate, so thankful for this opportunity to play on a stage like this every day, and I give it my all and I make the most of every opportunity I get. To hear that, it keeps you coming back.”
This puts Bryant up there in Cubs lore with the likes of Ryne Sandberg’s Game. So, as Bryant channels Sandberg or even Roy Hobbs from the Natural, the best part about Bryant is his character. He’s one of the few ball players who treat the game with the respect it deserves, carrying it with humility and competitiveness.
“He doesn’t flamboyantly dunk the basketball, he doesn’t spike the football, and he doesn’t flip the bat,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s a man for all ages.”
The fact that the Cubs have been struggling recently, it’s poignant that Bryant be the guy who carries them out of their slump. The race is getting tighter and despite the closeness between the teams like San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers, the Cubs still lead the Majors with a record of 49-26. Should the Cubs pull off a miracle and go on to win the big prize or even if they don’t, it’s moments like this that fans will remember most about this season.
“I don’t know what happened tonight,” Bryant said. “The last couple of weeks haven’t been what I wanted, so I figured I’m due. Throughout my life, I’ve always been that way, whereas when I’m struggling, I tell myself I’m ready for a big game. I guess tonight was the night.”
Oh, you better believe it!