Kris Bryant extends quirky Cubs record with video board homer

Kris Bryant extended his quirky Cubs record Saturday.

Bryant’s first-inning homer off Tyler Glasnow was the sixth all-time off the left-field video board, which was installed for the 2015 season. Four of those were hit by Bryant. The two others to drive one off the board are former Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler (May 27, 2016) and then-Brewers slugger Chris Carter (Sept. 17, 2016).

“Is that a record?” Bryant asked. “I didn’t even know it hit the scoreboard until I got in the dugout. That’s what they were telling me, but I guess it does feel a little different. You feel like you really got it, so it’s nice. It’s a nice target, especially in batting practice and with the wind going the way it is.”

There was also some question about how well Bryant hit that ball.

Kris Bryant hits a two-run homer during the first inning of Saturday's game. | AP

Jake Arrieta marveled at Bryant’s power and didn’t think his teammate got all of it. The ball hit the lower-right corner of the screen. Arrieta’s evaluation made sense because the wind howled out all day and contributed to the six homers hit.

“I bet he would tell you, too, that he didn’t land on that ball as well as he can, which is even more impressive to see the ball off the scoreboard on a 75 percent swing,” Arrieta said.

Bryant disagreed.

“I hit it pretty good,” Bryant said. “The easier I swing, I feel like those are the ones that go the farthest, so it’s important not to force it, especially today.”

Honoring Jackie

Everybody across baseball wore No. 42 jerseys to honor the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The number of African-American -players, however, is declining.

According to a report by USA Today, only 7.1 percent of players are African-American, representing the lowest number since 1958. Jason Heyward had an interesting take on that drop.

“As far as going to college, I feel like any household that says, ‘Get an education, try and get out of here, do something better for yourself, start a family,’ those kinds of things, the scholarship numbers in baseball are really low,” he said. “You look at trying to go to college and better yourself and get a job and set yourself up for a career, even outside of sports, football has a lot higher numbers.”

Royal rings

Soler, Jason Hammel and Travis Wood all moved on to the Royals in the offseason and are owed World Series championship rings. They’ll get them Monday at Wrigley Field before the Cubs’ game against the Brewers.

The three are able to get to Chicago because the Royals are off Monday in the middle of a homestand.

Follow me on Twitter @BrianSandalow.

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