Bleacher comforts: Bryant Kris-tens newly opened Wrigley bleachers with HR

SHARE Bleacher comforts: Bryant Kris-tens newly opened Wrigley bleachers with HR

Kris Bryant’s first career Wrigley Field homer comes on the first night of the season the left-field bleachers are open for business.

More than half of the Wrigley Field bleachers finally opened for Monday night’s series opener against the New York Mets, the 15th game of the home schedule.

And not a moment too soon for Cub outfielders like Chris Coghlan and Dexter Fowler – or for third baseman Kris Bryant, who christened the new left-field bleachers with his second career home run, a two-run shot in the first.

First-baseman Anthony Rizzo followed Bryant on the next pitch with a shot to the concrete in right-field, indicating where the final section of bleachers is expected to open June 11.

The filled outfield seats in left and center were welcome sights to Coghlan and Fowler, who manned their positions with little more than plywood and crickets for company and allies while the Cubs lost three of their previous four home games.

“I guess awkward would probably be the word I would use,” Coghlan, Monday night’s left fielder, said of the first three Cub homestands with no fans to his back. “I remember coming in as a visiting player, and in BP the [bleacher fans] were just hammering me, and you’re like, `Wow, this is crazy. Even in BP they’re locked and loaded.’

“It’s been kind of a bummer not to have them. … It helps. It’ll be great having more people – and the more rowdy they are the better for us.”

The left- and center-field bleachers opened Monday after construction delays the Cubs essentially blamed on the fact the winter weather was cold.

Also new for the homestand was a second video board in right field. But it was the surround-sound of the fans for the first time this season that caught the outfielders’ interest.

“Hopefully, it gets loud out there,” Fowler said, “and hopefully it helps with the home-field advantage.”

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