Kris Bryant homers in memorable Giants debut: Ive had an unbelievable first day – The Athletic

Kris Bryant must have been 7 years old, possibly 8, when his family celebrated his birthday with a vacation to San Diego. They did it all: lions, tigers and Shamu.

But the part that sticks with Bryant, and the memory he recalled Sunday morning at Oracle Park prior to his Giants debut, was the Padres game he attended at old Jack Murphy Stadium. The dugouts weren’t dugouts there. The benches, the bat racks, all of it was at field level. The dugouts had a concrete roof and fans could stand atop it during batting practice. That made the Murph, or Qualcomm Stadium, or whatever they called it then, an absolute paradise for autograph seekers. With a bit of boldness and a cooperative roster, you could fill up an entire team ball with signatures in the span of an afternoon.

Bryant remembers being one of those autograph seekers. He had one of those mesh-backed Giants hats, the kind with the swallowtail “G” logo, smooshed atop his head. He was hoping that his favorite player would stop to sign. He was hoping for Barry Bonds.

“I think it was toward the end of the year,” Bryant said. “I was just waiting … I was so shy. And there were a ton of people around me screaming.”

Bryant didn’t get a Bonds signature that day. But he made one aw-shucks comment to his mother, Sue, and she made one trip to a memorabilia store in the mall. That Bonds autograph is faded now, but the baseball is still in Bryant’s boyhood room at the family home in Las Vegas.