Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts (31)메이저사이트 returned to Fenway Park, home of his hometown Boston Red Sox, for the first time in four years. The Boston crowd gave Betts a warm welcome as they remembered their championship hero.

Betts started the game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts (USA), batting first and second, and received a standing ovation from the Boston crowd in the first inning. It had been 1425 days since Betts last appeared at Fenway Park, on September 30, 2019, against the Baltimore Orioles.

Not only did the crowd applaud Betts, but so did Boston third baseman Rafael Devers and manager Alex Cora. After stepping away from the plate for a moment, Betts removed his helmet and made a heart with both hands to acknowledge the crowd.

Betts was a star in Boston. Drafted by the Red Sox in the fifth round, 172nd overall, in the 2011 draft, Betts was developed and made his major league debut in 2014. In six years with the Red Sox through 2019, he batted .965 with 139 home runs, 470 RBIs, 126 doubles, and an .893 OPS in 749 games. In 2018, he was named the American League (AL) MVP after batting .346 with 32 homers, 80 RBIs, 30 doubles, and a 1.078 OPS, helping the team win the World Series.

After the game, Betts said of the first-inning standing ovation, according to the Associated Press, “I don’t really remember how I felt. I think I was a little nervous. I’m just grateful. I’m just grateful for the applause.”

He was one of Boston’s top stars but was traded to the Dodgers in February 2020, one season away from free agency, after extension talks broke down. Boston reportedly offered 10 years and $300 million, but Betts demanded 12 years and $420 million. After being traded to the Dodgers, Betts signed a 12-year, $365 million extension, leading to speculation that Betts left because he disliked Boston, which Betts denied.

[Photo] Mookie Betts during his time with the Boston Red Sox. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

[Photo] Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers removes his helmet to cheers from the Boston crowd. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

Asked before the game about the process of leaving Boston, Betts said, “The people in Boston, whether it’s President Haim Bloom or owner John Henry, they’ll have to explain it. If they want to explain it, they can explain it. I’m in L.A. now, and it’s all in the past.”

Betts, who was seen smiling and chatting with Bloom at Fenway Park before the game, added: “I don’t have any hard feelings about Boston trading me. It’s a business, and both sides have to look out for their interests. I’m in an L.A. uniform now, I have two kids. I started a production company, I have a podcast. I’m really happy in this moment. I feel very blessed.”

Betts has continued to perform at the top of the league since joining the Dodgers. In four years, including leading the Dodgers to their first World Series title in 32 years in 2020, Betts is batting .288 with 108 home runs, 268 RBIs and a .912 OPS in 440 games. This season, he has been especially hot, batting .309 (146-for-472) with 34 homers, 89 RBIs and a 1.008 OPS in 121 games, making him a candidate for National League MVP.

[Photo] Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers removes his helmet to the cheers of the Boston crowd. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

[Photo] Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

The Dodgers are in first place in the NL West and are favored to win their third division title in the four years since Betts arrived. After Betts’ departure, Boston entered fall ball as a wild card in 2021, but finished fifth in the AL East in 2020 and 2022. This year, the Red Sox are fighting for fourth place in the division and the fifth wild card, but it’s not easy.

Though he’s now a star for the Dodgers, Cora maintains friendships with Bostonians. Betts was the first person Cora reached out to when he was suspended for a year from managing in Boston in 2020 for leading an illegal autograph theft scheme while he was a bench coach for the Houston Astros in 2017. “He was one of the few players who reached out to make sure I was doing okay,” Cora said.

Later in the day, Betts went 1-for-4 with a home run, a walk, two runs scored and a multi-RBI performance in the Dodgers’ 7-4 win. Down 0-3 in the sixth inning, Betts led off with a double off the left field fence to tie the game. With the score tied 3-3 in the seventh, Betts drew a bases-loaded walk to set the stage for the comeback. /waw@osen.co.kr

[Photo] LA Dodgers’ Mookie Betts (left) high-fives manager Dave Roberts after scoring a run in the sixth inning. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

[Photo] Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

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