MESA, Ariz. — Here at Chicago Cubs spring training there are no shortage of reminders just who won the World Series last year. The faux-Wrigley Field marquee at Sloan Park makes it plenty clear. The stands near the batting practice have huge decorative baseballs that say “2016 World Series Champions.”
There’s plenty of fanfare and celebration from the diehards who show up three hours early to tailgate either. Even on days when rain is — oddly enough for Arizona — in the forecast.
In the Cubs clubhouse, players still beam when talking about their post-World Series life. Because the fact remains this isn’t just any World Series champion (if there is such a thing), it’s the 108-years-in-the-making Chicago Cubs championship.
And so Kris Bryant, the NL MVP and 25-year-old superstar, smiled a bit Monday and talked about when it really set in for him what his team had accomplished, when he could appreciate the enormity of it all.
The text messages, he said. The onslaught of text messages from people congratulating him. Pressed on the topic a bit, he revealed the one that really blew his mind.
It came from Peyton Manning.
“The guy is one of the greatest football players of all time,” Bryant said. “And he’s taking the time out of his day to text me to tell me what we did is something that he admired and was special.”
Makes you wonder whether Manning — sports superstar of superstars — has a superstar phone that has every other superstar’s number pre-loaded for just these types of occasions. Seems likely.
“I didn’t even know Peyton Manning knew who I was,” Bryant said.
Kris Bryant, all those homers — and modest too.
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