'Jose Reyes Day' and the 10 Most Memorable Player Returns of the Last 10 Years
It is an unfortunate reality in baseball that teams occasionally lose players that were fan favorites to free agency or that these players are dealt away towards the end of their careers.
Many of these players get a chance to return to the stadium that they spent a large portion of their career in, and they get another chance to play in front of the fans that cheered them on for so many years.
Some teams choose to honor their former players when they make their return, even if they now play for a rival. Fans have had mixed reactions to their former players coming back. Certain players get booed when they come back to their former home for the first time.
There are few players in New York Mets history that were better or more beloved by fans than Mike Piazza. He was a key part of the New York Mets' success during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Fans were certainly sad to see Piazza leave and become a member of the San Diego Padres, and when he came back, they let him know how much they appreciated his time in New York.
Piazza hit two home runs during his second game back in New York, and Mets fans actually cheered for him during the first one.
Manny Ramirez spent eight years in a Boston Red Sox uniform, and he was a huge presence in the middle of the team's lineup. He helped the Red Sox end their World Series drought in 2004. However, Ramirez was also known for his antics and was considered to be a clubhouse cancer.
During his return to Boston as a member of the Boston Red Sox in 2010, Ramirez got a mixed reaction from the crowd. Some fans were cheering for him, while others showed some displeasure and let out some loud boos.
There was an extended period of time in the late 1990s when Nomar Garciaparra was the best shortstop in the major leagues. He was also a Boston Red Sox fan favorite.
Garciaparra was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2004, and he would stay in the National League until 2008. After joining the Oakland Athletics for the 2009 season, his last in the majors, Garciaparra finally returned to Fenway Park.
Fans gave Garciaparra a roaring ovation, and it is clear how much this gesture meant to him.
The New York Yankees won the World Series in 2009, and Hideki Matsui was a big reason why the team was able to take home the championship. Matsui put up a .615/.643/1.385 line with three home runs and eight RBI in the Fall Classic, and he was named World Series MVP.
Matsui then left that offseason to sign with the Los Angeles Angels. When the Angels came to New York, Matsui was presented with his World Series ring, and the crowd gave him an incredible ovation.
Roger Clemens only spend five years with the New York Yankees in the early 2000s, but he instantly became a fan favorite after he had been a hated rival. Clemens helped lead the Yankees to two World Series titles in his short time with the team.
He then went to join the Houston Astros, and he spent three years with their organization. After sitting out part of the 2007 season, Clemens decided to return to the Yankees for one more year. Both the team's fans and announcer Suzyn Waldman went crazy when they heard Clemens would be back.
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Unlike the other players on this list, Ken Griffey, Jr. returned to the franchise that he started his career with towards the twilight of his career. Griffey, Jr. was an absolute force for the Seattle Mariners before he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 2000.
Mariners fans welcomed Griffey, Jr. back with open arms, and they were on their feet for his first at-bat in a Mariners uniform in 10 years when he returned in 2009.
Frank Thomas spent an incredible 16 years with the Chicago White Sox, during which he hit 448 home runs, drove in 1,465 and won two American League MVP awards.
Following the 2005 season, Thomas signed with the Oakland Athletics. White Sox fans were still happy to have him come back. They even cheered him as he hit a home run in his first at-bat against the White Sox.
Photo Credit: Pantagraph
During his eight years with the St. Louis Cardinals, Jim Edmonds pick up six Gold Glove awards as well as a lot of fans. He then signed with the rival Chicago Cubs after being released by the San Diego Padres in 2008.
There was some uncertainty about how Edmonds would be treated when he returned to St. Louis, but the fans showed him some love as he tipped his cap to them.
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Reyes provided Mets fans with exciting play for nine years, and he made the team fun to watch even when they struggled. The New York Mets are going to honor Reyes with a video tribute.