Mike Bryant took a red eye flight to Chicago early Friday morning and spoke to the media a few hours later with a mix of exhaustion and excitement on his face.
Moments earlier, in a prototypical father-son baseball moment, Kris Bryant and his father embraced for several beats behind home plate at Wrigley Field.
There was no escaping an emotional afternoon for the Bryant family.
“We shed a few tears,” Mike Bryant said. “I wasn’t groveling away but my sister was. My heart got heavy, I feel like I’m listening to a Tim McGraw or Justin Moore country song. When they make you cry, that’s when you know they got you. And that’s the way I felt. This is a big country song for me.”
Mike Bryant, a hitting instructor from Las Vegas, later revealed just how emotional the day was for the entire family.
He said his sister in Massachusetts visited their parents’ gravesite to share the news Thursday night that Kris Bryant would be playing for the Cubs on Friday.
“That’s what really hit me last night,” he said. “My sister was crying so hard, she went and visited both my mom and dad’s grave. It was 11 o’clock at night back in Massachusetts and she went over there.”
Kris Bryant said he shed a few tears of his own after receiving the news Thursday night that the Cubs were promoting him.
He called his parents a short time later.
“My dad was crying,” Kris Bryant said. “I’ve never seen my dad cry before. This is something we’ve been working for my whole life.”
The tears were gone by the time everybody arrived at the park Friday.
Mike Bryant said he isn’t worried about his son handling the pressures of his debut or carrying the expectations of an entire city.
All of the attention would go to the head of another player, Mike Bryant said. But not Kris.
“He knows he has an obligation to speak to his fans through (the media),” Mike Bryant said. “It’s great to see that and see him handle that like an adult at 23 years old.”