May 21, 2024

Crimson Sox

“That first at-bat goes to be one thing that he’ll keep in mind eternally.”

Mookie Betts was greeted with a standing ovation on Friday night time at Fenway Park. AP Photograph/Michael Dwyer

Within the days main as much as his anticipated return to Fenway Park, Mookie Betts admitted that he wasn’t precisely positive what to anticipate.

“I’m actually nervous,” Betts stated earlier this week. “Like, I’m actually nervous. It’s extra simply that I haven’t been again in so lengthy. It’s the place I grew up, and I don’t know what to anticipate. Hopefully it’s cool, although.”

He didn’t have to fret all that a lot.

For the primary time since Sept. 29, 2019, Betts stepped as much as dwelling plate at Fenway Park to guide off a contest — making his means up from the customer’s dugout this time round.

As anticipated, the 30-year-old celebrity earned a standing ovation from the over 30,000 followers in attendance at Fenway. Because the cheer carried on, Betts took off his helmet and saluted the followers.

You may watch Betts’ heat welcome in his return to Boston beneath.

Talking forward of first pitch, Betts acknowledged that he was wanting ahead to getting the feelings out of the way in which within the early going because the Dodgers’ leadoff man.

“I’m positive, that in all probability makes it slightly bit simpler,” Betts stated. “Get it executed at the start of the sport. … I don’t need to rush it. … I simply need to benefit from the second. Be the place my toes are and see what occurs.”

The anticipated standing ovation got here as no shock to supervisor Alex Cora, who vouched for Crimson Sox followers to offer the 2018 World Sequence champion an ovation after six standout seasons in Boston.

Betts performed in Boston from 2014-19. The five-tool outfielder took dwelling the American League MVP throughout a 2018 season that noticed Boston win a franchise-best 108 video games en path to a World Sequence title.

Betts additionally captured 4 All-Star nods, 4 Gold Gloves, and 4 Silver Sluggers, to associate with a runner-up spot within the 2016 AL MVP voting behind Mike Trout.

“He’s gonna get what he deserves, proper? Like I stated yesterday, I’m not right here to inform the followers to get right here early,” Cora stated pregame on Friday. “However it will likely be good to have a packed home and first at-bat and do what we’re presupposed to do, proper? … That first at-bat goes to be one thing that he’ll keep in mind eternally.

“The whole lot he did right here. He was excellent. He did it with class. He was actually good for us on the sphere. He was actually good for us off the sphere.”

In the end, Betts’ first at-bat towards his former workforce ended with out a lot fanfare, as starter Kutter Crawford obtained him to come out to first baseman Triston Casas.

In an fascinating twist, the important thing piece that went again to Boston within the Betts commerce in Alex Verdugo made essentially the most of his first at-bat on Friday.

The Sox leadoff hitter — and former Dodger — pounced on the primary fastball delivered by L.A. starter Lance Lynn, depositing it into the bullpen for a solo shot and an early lead for Boston.