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Bryant explains why he grew up rooting for Bonds, Giants

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SAN FRANCISCO -- A few hours after the Giants swung a blockbuster trade for Kris Bryant, Barry Bonds watched the team play the Astros from a suite and got a standing ovation when shown on the scoreboard between innings. The Giants are going to need to get him back to Oracle Park pretty quickly.

On his first day in orange and black, Bryant said he grew up a Giants fan, in large part because he grew up a Bonds fan. Bryant was born and raised in Las Vegas and said he idolized Bonds, so much so that a baseball autographed by Bonds is still sitting in Bryant's room at his mom's house. 

"It's fading a little bit, so hopefully I run into him and he can give me another one," Bryant said, smiling. 

The Bryant family traveled to San Diego for a vacation when Kris was a child and watched the Giants play the Padres at Qualcomm Stadium, but the young Bonds fan said he wasn't able to get the signature during that trip. 

"I was shy," Bryant said. "I didn't want to ask him for his autograph but there were a ton of people around me screaming, so I was like, hopefully he's going to come over here and start signing. He never ended up coming over."

That didn't deter Bryant, who was about seven or eight at the time. He still wanted an autographed ball and his mom went to a local mall and bought him a keepsake he has to this day. 

 

Bryant said he had a Bonds jersey and mesh Giants hat, and he wore No. 25 until he got to high school. His high school team didn't have a jersey with 25 on it, so he switched to 23, the number he will wear with the Giants. 

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Years later, as a star with the Cubs, Bryant got to chat with his childhood idol. He said he has met Bonds a couple of times in San Francisco and also when he was a hitting coach with the Marlins. He got another autograph but doesn't know where that ball went, so he'll need a fresh one whenever Bonds is next at Oracle Park. 

"Everything about him was fun to watch and now I'm here," Bryant said. "It's kind of weird. It comes full circle and now I'm playing in the big leagues with the San Francisco Giants. It's pretty cool."

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