Former Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson had his Chicago Cubs introductory press conference on Wednesday, and he told an emotional story about why he chose the team. Swanson said memories of his late grandfather influenced his decision.Earlier this month, Swanson married Mallory Pugh, who plays soccer for the Chicago Red Stars. However, he didn’t have too much time to celebrate. The morning after the ceremony, he had to go on a trip to visit to his grandfather, whose health had taken a turn for the worse and passed away the next day.Growing up in Atlanta, Swanson lived right next to his grandfather which allowed them to make of baseball memories together.”So every day when I would come home from school, I would run up to his house, I’d run in, and pretty much demand that he come outside and hit me ground balls, which he would always do,” Swanson said. “Every time I’d walk in, he’d have a Cubs game on, back when it was on WGN. I was always like ‘Pops, we’re in Atlanta, dude, we’re Braves fans.’
“He loved baseball so much and all he ever wanted me to [do] was doing what I’m doing now.”Swanson his first seven MLB seasons in Atlanta and said the Braves were his grandfather’s favorite team. He already accomplished what he wanted there by winning a World Series in 2021, so now he has a new goal in mind.The All-Star shortstop just finalized a $177 million, seven-year contract with the Cubs — his grandpa’s second favorite team. He wants to bring a championship to Chicago too because he feels that was something he was “called to do.”
“To be able to play for two of my grandfather’s two favorite teams means literally, like, the world to me,” Swanson said.