Bogaerts welcomed back to Boston with standing ovation, tribute video

Bogaerts welcomed back to Boston with standing ovation, tribute video originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Boston Red Sox fans were reminded of the good old days during Friday night’s series opener against the San Diego Padres.

The matchup marked Xander Bogaerts’ first game back at Fenway Park since he signed with the San Diego Padres in Dec. 2022. The veteran shortstop spent the first 10 seasons of his career in Boston and helped the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts was welcomed back with a tribute video and a rousing ovation from the Fenway Faithful. He acknowledged the crowd with a tip of the cap, as shown in the video below captured by KUSI Sports’ Allison Edmonds:

Before the game, Bogaerts lamented not getting the chance to play against his former team due to a shoulder injury that has kept him sidelined since May 20.

“It does suck,” he said. “Because it’s one that you had marked on your calendar, looking forward to. I was hoping maybe I’d be available, but probably not. It does suck, but at least I’m here. I can still watch a baseball game. It’ll be different, but I mean, definitely looking forward to the atmosphere.”

Bogaerts was a four-time All-Star with Boston, amassing 1,410 hits and 156 homers with an .814 OPS in 1,264 games — the most games ever played by a Red Sox shortstop.

The 31-year-old’s time with the Red Sox came to an end after failed contract negotiations in 2022. He ended up signing an 11-year, $280 million deal with San Diego in free agency.

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