How Kris Bryant saved one of his fans $850
It's not every day you save yourself almost $1,000 with one tweet, but don't tell that to Mike Kennedy.
As a collector of sports memorabilia, with a particular focus on MLB prospects, Kennedy was prepared last week to spend $850 on a game-used bat of the Cubs' Kris Bryant.
"I've collected his stuff for a while now," Kennedy said in an email. "He has one of the coolest signatures out there." Kennedy, a Las Vegas native like Bryant, has been a fan of Bryant since the Cubs drafted him in the first round in 2013.
But being a responsible collector, and not wanting to drop that kind of cash on a fake, Kennedy decided to make sure his purchase was authentic -- and it paid off.
@mk9577 you don't need to buy it! What do you want? I'll send it to you!- Kris Bryant (@KrisBryant_23) October 31, 2014
Kennedy reached out to Bryant on Twitter, asking him to verify the bat, when Bryant did him one better: he offered to send a bat himself, free of charge.
@mk9577 850 bucks?! That's ridiculous! I'll send one to you. DM me your address!- Kris Bryant (@KrisBryant_23) October 31, 2014
Now that's what we call fan service.
This wasn't the first time Kennedy had interacted with Bryant on Twitter, either. He'd mentioned his appreciation of Bryant's signature earlier this year, and Bryant responded. "I've had several friends that have met him and everyone says he takes time for his fans," Kennedy said.
"I was really blown away by his responding back so fast and by offering to send me the bat ... I think it shows a lot of his character," Kennedy said. And he added quite a flattering comparison:
"He reminds me a lot of Mike Trout: Plays the game the right way, stays humble, and signs all the time for fans."
No word yet on if the bat was used to mash one of Bryant's 52 Minor League home runs since 2013, but regardless, Kennedy has a new prize for his collection.
"I'm honored to own a bat from Bryant's 43-home run season. It's a true piece of baseball history, and I can't wait have it mounted in a case," he said.
Bryant's gift caps quite the year of player generosity. Royals reliever Brandon Finnegan helped out a fan on Twitter with a pair of tickets to Game 3 of the ALCS, and Wade Davis' wife left World Series tickets for her restaurant server. It's never been a better time to be a fan.