Dec 21, 2022, 9:30:33 PMyebscore

Dansby Swanson: Signing with Cubs 'personal to me'

Signing with the Chicago Cubs feels like the fulfillment of a family dream for shortstop Dansby Swanson. "Being a Cub means more to me than people would realize," Swanson said Wednesday during his introductory press conference at Wrigley Field. An All-Star and Gold Glove winner last season with the Atlanta Braves, Swanson signed a seven-year, $177 million deal with Chicago in free agency. Swanson said that watching the Cubs play on television was one of his late grandfather's passions. The Kennesaw, Ga., native fought back tears when talking about his grandfather and the tough decision to leave his hometown Braves. "He lived across the yard from my parents and I and my brother and sister," Swanson said. "So everyday when I would come home from school, I would run up to his house. I'd run in and pretty much demand that he'd come outside and hit me groundballs, which he would always do. But every time I walked in, he would 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 be was doing what I'm doing now. "So having won a championship in Atlanta for one of his favorite teams, we just felt that the Cubs, which were his second-favorite team, that bringing a championship to this city was what we have felt called to do. "So to be able to play for my grandfather's two favorite teams means literally the world to me." Swanson's new bride, Mallory Pugh, also plays in the Windy City. Pugh, a member of the United States Women's National Team, is a star player for the Chicago Red Stars. The 24-year-old had 10 goals for the Red Stars last season and has 25 international goals. Swanson, 28, played in all 162 games and batted .277 with 25 home runs and career highs in RBIs (96), steals (18) and runs (99). He is a .255 career hitter with 102 homers and 411 RBIs in 827 games since making his debut with the Braves in 2016. He won a World Series with Atlanta in 2021. The Arizona Diamondbacks drafted Swanson with the No. 1 overall pick in 2015 and traded him to Atlanta later that year. --Field Level Media