DOWNTOWN — Sorry, Chicago River carp.
That was Cubs slugger Kris Bryant raining balls into the Chicago River Tuesday afternoon as part of a promotion. More than 20,000 people watched him take batting practice on the edge of the Chicago River live on Facebook at one point.
"Hopefully everyone is enjoying it," he told the crowd watching on the banks of the river. "I am."
The reigning NL MVP's unusual batting practice location was at River Point, 444 W. Lake Street, where the main leg of the Chicago River splits into the north and south branches. It was his first batting practice in Chicago this season, Bryant noted.
In a surreal scene, Bryant smacked ball after ball into the chilly greenish water as yellow kayaks circled in the water looking for souvenirs. At one point, Bryant had to stop hitting so tour boats could go by.
Last hits from Bryant. pic.twitter.com/lYI3EWKzLi— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) April 11, 2017
Bryant says he plays for best team, best city. pic.twitter.com/zFEZMacZXl— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) April 11, 2017
Getting to do batting practice over the Chicago River was one of the "coolest" thing Bryant has done since the Cubs won the World Series, he said.
"This is something no one ever gets to see," Bryant said. Later, he said, "We play for the best team in the best city."
Bryant said he was trying to hit one far enough for fans on the dry land to retrieve it. He didn't have much luck — but joked his teammates wouldn't have been able to do it, either.
"I feel like it's impossible to hit it to the people over there," he said during a breather amid the slugging. "Sorry, guys. It's too far away."
Afterward, Bryant signed balls and autographs for fans before leaving.
The stunt was livestreamed on the Cubs' Facebook page.
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.