Dansby Swanson wanted just one recreation to know how “Go, Cubs, Go” hits in a different way when the tune resonates at Wrigley Field whereas carrying the house pinstripes.
Swanson’s Chicago Cubs debut Thursday encompassed precisely what the group anticipated within the all-around shortstop once they signed him to a seven-year, $177 million contract within the offseason. He grew to become the primary Cub to have three hits in his staff debut since, fittingly, Nico Hoerner on Sept. 9, 2019. The duo teamed as much as flip an inning-ending double play within the prime of the third inning to assist right-hander Marcus Stroman escape the bases-loaded jam.
Swanson additionally drove in a run, the Cubs’ first of the season, to spark a four-run third en path to a 4-0 opening-day win in opposition to the Milwaukee Brewers. A day that started with an early get up and prayer ended with Swanson placing a tough offensive spring efficiency behind him to steer the Cubs to a whole win in entrance of contingent of supporters that included his dad and mom and spouse Mallory, whose Red Stars play their residence debut Saturday.
“I’m really soaking up these moments and living in the present,” Swanson mentioned. “Peace is only found in the right now. I couldn’t be more grateful to be here. I keep saying that over and over again. This is just the truth.”
Swanson’s path to the Cubs culminated a protracted 12 months of uncertainty, a journey he mentioned with the Tribune earlier than the season. His profession transition to the Cubs and getting married shortly earlier than making a free-agency determination add to adjusting to his first time in about seven years leaving his residence in Georgia.
“It’s actually been pretty challenging, like, I can’t even lie about that,” Swanson mentioned. “I’ve been residence and been very snug. And now that I’m out of that it’s in a approach like having to rediscover myself and having battled with a whole lot of anxiousness and issues of that nature. … Everything has been nice (with the group), nevertheless it’s nonetheless exhausting personally.
“Just battling through all the newness and working to find my footing and my confidence and what makes M, like, why I was brought here.”
The cash the Cubs supplied, a contract that’s the second largest in franchise historical past, would in idea make Swanson’s free-agent determination straightforward as soon as he and Mallory noticed their stage of dedication.
“Our criteria for making our decision was way more than just, all right, what’s the highest bidder and that’s what we’re doing,” Swanson mentioned. “I mean, I’ve never allowed money to dictate my life whatsoever. … My decision was based off where I felt led to be.”
Faith is deeply intertwined within the Swansons strategy and outlook on life. They spent the total 12 months main as much as his free company praying on the looming determination. Before the Cubs and Swanson’s camp exchanged contract figures, he was beginning to really feel led to Chicago, which Swanson says was “really, really, really, hard for me to swallow.”
Swanson remembers spending one night time to himself on the again patio of their residence. He constructed a fireplace and spent a lot of the night time reflecting and praying. When he awoke the following morning, Swanson was convicted that Chicago was the suitable match.
“It was like the last bit of more or less my flesh desiring to stay in Atlanta,” Swanson mentioned. “I went to mattress all in my feels about staying. … Before the contract stuff was even being thrown round, Chicago went from not the primary option to the primary alternative and folks simply don’t know that.
“I’m convicted in who God’s made me to be. That is where the work is done and why I believe I’m so open. … It’s my truth and so why would I not share what I believe. And that’s kind of how I look at life.”
Swanson’s baseball worth exists outdoors of the All-Star and Gold Glove-worthy numbers. Durability has turn into a trademark of his recreation. He performed in all however one recreation the final three seasons with the Atlanta Braves, a stretch that included three division titles and a World Series championship in 2021. Between the common season and playoffs, Swanson began a whopping 414 video games in that stretch at a premium defensive place.
His capacity to remain on the sector is the byproduct from shifting his focus after his injury-affected 2018 and 2019 seasons to a mindset of there’s nothing anybody might do to take him out of the lineup. Swanson had an epiphany that the depth of his offseason exercises weren’t sustainable. As he evaluated his profession, he noticed inconsistencies from month to month, alternating between an excellent and horrible month.
So he lessened how a lot weight he lifted to higher maintain his physique and workload by a season due to a program his coach developed. Swanson tries to elevate each second recreation of each sequence, viewing it as “putting pennies in the piggy bank” and trusting the payoff will comply with. It ties in together with his work with therapeutic massage therapists and nutritionists who all assist him to remain targeted on taking part in.
Whether he’s at 70% or 100%, Swanson expects to see his identify on the lineup card. He credit a whole lot of that mentality from former teammate and Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman.
“You show up and play,” Swanson mentioned. “It doesn’t matter if you’re completely lost, your presence and your ability is what we need on the field. … I try to instill that in guys too: Do everything you can to take care of your body but don’t do it so much that you get stressed about it. At the end of the day, it’s simple: I show up and play, and that’s that.”
The Cubs don’t sound desperate to play Swanson each recreation. They need him to remain contemporary and consider strategic off days will profit him in the long term, although, President Jed Hoyer anticipates Swanson will object when that call arrives.
“I’d love to see him play a little less than that (162 games) … but I do love the mentality,” Hoyer mentioned Thursday. “Hopefully (manager David Ross) can have some arguments for those guys along the way to get them out of the lineup a little more often.”
Swanson’s focus revolves on one factor: “Make everything about winning. We’re not here to have fun. I hate that. I’m not here to have fun, I’m here to win. Winning’s fun.”
Swanson desires that mentality to permeate within the clubhouse tradition and sees different guys wired that approach. Ultimately the Cubs should ship on the sector with Swanson close to the middle of their success.
As he displays on his path to the Cubs, Swanson invokes phrases Mallory at all times says: What determination goes to stretch your religion? What determination goes to make you belief in God’s plan extra?
“And here I am. I don’t know what the seven years have in store, but I know that it’s going to be amazing.”