There were plenty of reasons why Kris Bryant's smile was so big as soon as he connected with Ian Kennedy's fastball in the bottom of the seventh inning on Monday night. It could have been because of the game situation, as the solo shot was a key insurance run to put the Cubs up two. It also very well may have been that feeling of getting your first home run of the year -- or perhaps Bryant has a strange affinity for the number 139, which is the amount of career bombs he has.
But the most likely reason for Bryant's smile, which you can see more clearly as part of the interview below, is because he made a promise to his four-month old baby boy, Kyler, that he would hit a home run for him.
Bryant announced the birth of his son a few days after he was born in mid-April.
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like Bryant is right: athletes should do this more often. It seems as though every time someone makes a promise to a fan or child, those athletes follow through -- though we probably don't hear the stories of the times it doesn't work out.
Oftentimes, a hospital patient who is visited by a famous athlete is the subject of these inspirational stories. The origin for this common trend may have started with Babe Ruth -- as with so many other elements of baseball lore -- when he promised the seriously ill Johnny Sylvester that he'd hit a home run for the 11-year-old boy. Mo Vaughn was able to replicate the Babe's act, promising cancer patient Jason Leader that he'd hit one for him as well.